In addition to Western Washington and Eastern Washington residents call the two parts of the state the "West side" and "East side", "Wet side" and "Dry side", or "Timberland" and "Wheatland", the latter pair more commonly in the names of region-specific businesses and institutions.

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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.

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.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery.Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always includes Washington and Oregon and may or may not include some or all of the following, depending on the user's intent: Idaho, western Montana, northern California, British Columbia, and Alaska.The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state.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.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.