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The remainder of the state consists of: deep temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast and far southeast; and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture.Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California.For Washington this means prevailing winds from the northwest bring relatively cool air and a predictably dry season.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.The Okanogan Highlands and the rugged Kettle River Range and Selkirk Mountains cover much of the northeastern quadrant of the state.The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy.
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.
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.
The term "Pineapple Express" is used colloquially to describe the extreme form of the wet-season Chinook winds.
It borders Idaho to the east, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 116°57' west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River.
Oregon is to the south, with the Columbia River forming the western part and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the Oregon-Washington border. Its northern border lies mostly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north.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.