Before the Europeans arrived, the region had many established tribes of aboriginal Americans, notable for their totem poles and their ornately carved canoes and masks. Washington's state base sales tax is 6.5%, which is combined with a local sales tax that varies by locality. The best place to go wine tasting and outdoor adventuring is the eastern side of the state. The intercity network includes the Cascade Tunnel, the longest railroad tunnel in the United States, which is part of the Stevens Pass route on the BNSF Northern Transcom. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. The governorship is held by Democrat Jay Inslee, who was elected to his first term in the 2012 gubernatorial election.  Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (a non-profit opt-in state agency) provides information management systems for fiscal & human resources and student data. Additionally, Washington has a large Ethiopian community, with many Eritrean residents as well. The two current United States Senators from Washington are Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both Democrats. The state fossil is the Columbian mammoth. Heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas fir. Other industries that developed in the state included fishing, salmon canning and mining. The USDA hardiness zones rate average temperatures across the country, so gardeners may gauge whether a particular plant is likely to be perennial in their area. The Cascade Range has several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. Understanding the Washington USDA Planting Map. VIEW BY REGION United States Alaska Great Plains Hawaii Mid-Atlantic Midwest Northeast Rocky Mountains South Southwest West , Mammals native to the state include the bat, black bear, bobcat, cougar, coyote, deer, elk, gray wolf, moose, mountain beaver, muskrat, opossum, pocket gopher, raccoon, river otter, skunk, and tree squirrel.  The Vietnamese and Filipino populations of Washington are mostly concentrated within the Seattle metropolitan area. Washington does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks, or bonds. As described above, Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. A Mediterranean Climate predominates in western Washington, and a much drier semi-arid climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. The top two health insurers as of 2017 were Premera Blue Cross, with 24 percent market share, followed by Kaiser Permanente at 21 percent. One of the most important steps in choosing plants is making sure it is suited to your climate. , The United States Census Bureau estimates Washington's population was 7,614,893 on July 1, 2019, a 13.24 percent increase since the 2010 Census.  By 2006, the state had over 31,000 acres (130 km2) of vineyards, a harvest of 120,000 short tons (109,000 t) of grapes, and exports going to more than forty countries around the world from the state's 600 wineries. , The skeletal remains of Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and most complete human remains found in North America, were discovered in Washington. Also in November 2012, Washington was one of the first two states approve the legal sale and possession of cannabis for both recreational use with Initiative 502. Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.. Organization(s) ICC. The highest recorded temperature in the state was 118 °F (48 °C) at Ice Harbor Dam.  In 2018, the state ranked 13th overall in population, and was the third most populous, after California and Texas, west of the Mississippi River. Washington has not voted for a Republican senator, governor, or presidential candidate since 1994, tying Delaware for the longest streak in the country.. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. Even in the driest month there is a lot of rain. The wildflowers are often still in bloom, and temperatures are mild.  The rain shadow of the Cascade Range leaves the Columbia River Basin with around 8 inches (200 mm) of annual rain fall, making irrigation and water rights of paramount interest to the Washington wine industry. A climate chart for your city, indicating the monthly high temperatures and rainfall. Washington has a relatively strong economy, with a total gross state product of $569.449 billion in 2018, placing it 10th in the nation and growing by 5.7 percent per year—the fastest rate in the United States. The state does not collect a corporate income tax or franchise tax either.  Washington is the only U.S. state named after a president. The air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion causes Washington's prevailing winds to come from the southwest, and bring relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. Vacation Ideas for the Pacific Coast of Washington, Washington State Travel and Tourism: Natural Beauty: Natural Beauty, Washington Wine: Washington State Wine Varieties, Washington State Wine: Climate and Seasons, Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Geology of Washington - Southern Cascades, Places to Go on Vacation in Washington State, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights.  The state seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait of President George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Democrats have controlled the Washington Governor's Mansion for 35 years; the last Republican Governor was John Spellman, who left office in 1985. This leads to border economic anomalies in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Four ships of the United States Navy, including two battleships, have been named USS Washington in honor of the state. The straits were further explored by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in 1790 and Francisco de Eliza in 1791, and British explorer George Vancouver in 1792. The climate of Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), the US federal capital, is semi-continental, with cold winters and hot and muggy summers.The city is located on the 38th parallel, in a way, between the cold and the warm part of the United States.  But it was in the late 20th century, that large-scale Mexican immigration and other Latinos settled in the southern suburbs of Seattle, with limited concentrations in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties during the region's real estate construction booms in the 1980s and 1990s.  As of March 2017, the combined sales tax rate in Seattle and Tacoma was 10.1%. Although marijuana is still illegal under U.S. Federal law, persons 21 and older in Washington state can possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or any combination of all three, and to legally consume marijuana and marijuana-infused products. It continues to be the most important revenue source for public schools, fire protection, libraries, parks and recreation, and other special purpose districts.  Residents of Washington (known as "Washingtonians") and the Pacific Northwest simply refer to the state as "Washington", and the nation's capital "Washington, D.C.", "the other Washington", or simply "D.C.", Washington is the northwesternmost state of the contiguous United States. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. Almost 95 percent (876,517 acres, 354,714 hectares, 3,547.14 square kilometers) of Olympic National Park's area has been designated as wilderness under the National Wilderness Preservation System. Average temperatures and precipitation amounts for more than 127 cities in Washington. You can then choose plants that are suggested for that USDA zone. Washington operates and maintains roads over seven[vague] major mountain passes and eight minor passes. Washington's climate varies greatly from east to west. Determine your climate zone. However, do bring layers, a waterproof coat and a sweater, especially if you'll be visiting the coast or the Cascade Range; even in July and August, when temperatures tend to be humid and hot, nighttime can get chilly because of the winds that whip through Puget Sound off the Pacific Ocean. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall (in some places more than 200 inches or 5,100 millimeters water equivalent) in the country. The air-permeable insulation shall be installed directly under the air-impermeable insulation. The state land mammal is the Olympic marmot. Like other West Coast states, the percentage of Washington's population identifying themselves as "non-religious" is higher than the national average. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington, and its collection accounts for about 30% of Washington's total state and local revenue. Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of whom were quartered at Golden Gardens Park. Washington was considered a key swing state in 1968, and it was the only western state to give its electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey over his Republican opponent Richard Nixon. Justine Harrington is a freelance travel journalist (and lifelong wanderer) based in Austin, Texas. , Sound Transit Link light rail currently operates in the Seattle area at a length of 20 miles (32 km), and in Tacoma at a length of 1.6 miles (2.6 km).  Most foods are exempt from sales tax. In eastern Washington, the Yakima River Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry farming techniques became particularly productive. Refer to the requirements for each building envelope area, based on your project’s Climate Zone IECC 2015 Requirements by Climate Zone 3. Home » Climate Zones » Western Washington Click to Enlarge.  Washington state has the second highest percentage of Pacific Islander people in the mainland U.S. (behind Utah); the Seattle-Tacoma area is home to more than 15,000 people of Samoan ancestry, who mainly reside in southeast Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, and in SeaTac.. , As of the 2008–2009 school year, 1,040,750 students were enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in Washington, with 59,562 teachers employed to educate them. In 2013 and 2014, both houses of the Washington State Legislature (the Washington Senate and the Washington House of Representatives) were controlled by Democrats. For Washington, this means prevailing winds from the northwest bring relatively cool air and a predictably dry season. In total, 17.49% (1,073,002) of Washington's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English. The state of Washington reformed its health care system in 1993 through the Washington Health Services Act. The growing season is 150 to 200 days long, but because Zone 4 summers are temperate (highs average from the low 60s to the 70s), plants take more time to develop.  Washington has the largest Pacific Northwest population, followed by Oregon, then Idaho. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area population was 3,439,809 in the 2010 Census, half the state total. Washington has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1988.  As of August 2009, there were 295 school districts in the state, serviced by nine Educational Service Districts. Washington has seven different geographical regions that include the fields of the Columbia Basin, the peaks of the Cascades and the Pacific coastline. On January 1, 2018, the law went into effect, with Washington becoming the seventh state with paid sick leave requirements..  The minimum wage as of January 1, 2020 was $13.50 an hour, the second highest of any state or district in the country behind Washington D.C at $14.00 an hour. Washington's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. A 2004 study of 40 mothers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Montana found PBDEs in the breast milk of every woman tested. With the passage of Initiative 1183, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) ended its monopoly of all-state liquor store and liquor distribution operations on June 1, 2012. When deciding what to plant in each zone, the plant must be able to thrive in a climate …  Washington, D.C.'s, own statehood movement in the 21st century includes a proposal to use the name "State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth", which would conflict with the current state of Washington. In eastern Washington, the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943, and played a major role in the construction of the nation's atomic bombs. Average annual rainfall in Washington is 38.15 inches, which ranks high compared to other U.S. states. 2. Since most of the rain in Seattle falls during the winter months, travelers should opt to go between May and November when the weather is usually dry and warmer. 301.3.1 Warm humid criteria. Due to this geographical diversity, temperatures vary greatly depending on where you are in the state. Urban Indian communities formed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation programs in Seattle since the end of World War II brought a variety of Native American peoples to this diverse metropolis.  Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis, was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012, and was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade loosened abortion laws nationwide. They were reported to at least date as far back as the 1800s.  The state grass is bluebunch wheatgrass. An invasive amount of algae in bodies of water would lead to a variety of excess ecological and technological issues.. Washington businesses are responsible for various other state levies, including the business and occupation tax (B & O), a gross receipts tax which charges varying rates for different types of businesses.  Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the U.S.. The name proved popular as the forests were full of evergreen trees and the abundance of rain keeps the shrubbery and grasses green throughout the year. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. In 2013, Washington ranked first in the nation in production of red raspberries (92.7 percent of total U.S. production), hops (79.2 percent), spearmint oil (72.9 percent), wrinkled seed peas (60 percent), apples (57 percent), sweet cherries (50.9 percent), pears (49.5 percent), Concord grapes (36.5 percent), carrots for processing (36.5 percent), green peas for processing (34.4 percent), and peppermint oil (31.4 percent). For the demographics of Washington, D.C., see, Largest cities or towns in Washington (state)|Washington, Washington was not yet a legally recognized territory in 1850. Three recent studies by the Washington State Department of Ecology showed toxic chemicals banned decades ago linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain. The warming climate is causing sea levels to rise as oceans expand, and, combined with more frequent storms, the effects could be devastating. Research which wineries you'd like to travel to ahead of time, as some spots offer special programs, events and classes. It is managed together as the Okanogan–Wenatchee National Forest, encompassing a considerably larger area of around 3,239,404 acres (1,310,940 ha). Based on the 2007 information and a previous 2004 Ecology study, the Washington State Department of Health advises the public not to eat mountain whitefish from the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth downstream to where the river joins the Columbia, due to unhealthy levels of PCBs.