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From the north to the south, these major volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Eastern Washington – the part of the state east of the Cascades – has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side.

Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. Washington is the 18th largest state with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 sq km), and the 13th most populous state with over 7 million people.In the autumn and winter, a low-pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean, with air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion.This causes Washington's prevailing winds, the Chinooks, to come from the southwest, bringing relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season.From the Cascade Mountains westward, Western Washington has a mostly marine west coast climate, with mild temperatures and wet winters, autumns and springs, and relatively dry summers. Western Washington also is home of the Olympic Mountains, far west on the Olympic Peninsula, which support dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest.The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in the state, is 50 miles (80 km) south of the city of Seattle, from which it is prominently visible. Rainier the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range, due to its proximity to the Seattle metropolitan area, and most dangerous in the continental U. These deep forests, such as the Hoh Rainforest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States.The term "Pineapple Express" is used colloquially to describe the extreme form of the wet-season Chinook winds.

Despite western Washington's having a marine climate similar to those of many coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions such as the "Big Snow" events of 1880, 1881, 18 and the "deep freeze" winters of 1883–84, 1915–16, 1949––56, among others.

The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.

As described above, Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery.

Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Farther east, the climate becomes less arid, with annual rainfall increasing as one goes east to 21.2 inches (540 mm) in Pullman, near the Washington-Idaho border.