Washington’s western boundary is formed by the Pacific Ocean. The seasonal change in the temperature of the ocean is less than the seasonal change in the temperature of the land, thus the ocean is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the adjoining land surfaces.
How does the ocean affect Washington’s climate?
Sea level rise
The oceans continue to absorb heat from greenhouse gases, resulting in thermal expansion, melting glaciers, and loss of polar ice sheets. Rising waters can lead to coastal hazards such as flooding and habitat changes. … Learn more about sea level rise on Washington’s coast.
Why is the Pacific ocean important to Washington?
The oceanic economy
The Pacific is a major contributor to the world economy, particularly to those nations its waters directly touch. It provides low-cost sea transportation between East and West, extensive fishing grounds, offshore oil and gas fields, minerals, and sand and gravel for the construction industry.
How is the climate of the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon affected by the California Current?
El Niño tends to split the jet stream, often bringing warmer air to Oregon and Washington and wetter weather to California. La Niña tends to position the northern storm track directly over the Pacific Northwest, bringing greater odds of cooler, wetter winters.
Why does Eastern Washington have more extreme temperatures than Western Washington?
While the west half of the state is located in a rainy oceanic climate, the eastern half receives little rainfall due to the rainshadow created by the Cascade Mountains. Also, due to being farther from the sea, the east side has both hotter summers and colder winters than the west.
How will climate change affect Pacific Northwest?
In the Pacific Northwest, climate change may affect the coastal marine environment by increasing ocean temperature, increasing the vertical stratification of the water column (reducing mixing which is important to the marine food chain), and changing the intensity and timing of coastal winds and upwelling.
How is climate change affecting Seattle?
Experts predict shorter winters and longer summers, which potentially can lead to winter flooding and more severe summer droughts. A 2005 University of Washington study states that the city of Seattle could see a 14% drop in water supply by 2040.
What is the climate of the Pacific Northwest?
The main general climatic types of the Pacific Northwest are temperate oceanic, where cool temperatures and frequent cloudy skies are typical: both moderate and four seasons, but mountainous and arid high desert climates occupy the sparsely populated areas east of the Cascades.
What would happen if the Pacific ocean?
Seafloor spreading is when tectonic plates split from each other, creating a new oceanic crust. While the Pacific Ocean is slowly shrinking, the Atlantic Ocean is expanding. Some scientists believe that eventually the Pacific Ocean could close completely.
What is the Pacific Northwest environment?
Most of the Pacific Northwest has a cool, wet climate, which has led to the growth of thick forests. … Believe it or not, there are coastal, or temperate, rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, while the inland areas are more dry and warm. The rainforests in this area are some of the rainiest places in the world.
Why is the Pacific Northwest so wet?
Low pressure systems are one of the main reasons the Pacific Northwest is so wet and rainy. … Moist wind blowing in from the coast hits the Cascade Range, forcing the moisture higher and turning it into thick clouds and dense rainfall further inland.
How much rain does North Bend WA get?
North Bend, Washington gets 67 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. North Bend averages 9 inches of snow per year.
Is the PNW getting drier?
The facts are clear: there is no long-term trend towards drier summers in the Northwest. And the effects of climate change (global warming) will be very small, with some locations receiving more summer precipitation.
What is Washington’s climate?
Washington has two distinct climate zones. Mild, humid, summer days west of the Cascades rarely rise above 26°C (79°F), and winter days seldom drop below 8°C (46°F) while the east of the state has warm summers and cool winters.
What climate type is Washington State?
The climate of Washington. Washington mainly exhibits continental climate (Köppen climate classification Csb, Cfb, Dfb) in the west and semi-arid type in the east (Köppen BS, BW) of the Cascade Range.
What climate zone is Washington State?
Most of western Washington is USDA zone 7b-8b, with an average low of 5-20 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the zone number the lower the average minimum temperature.