The Greater Yakima metro area is situated east-west in a landscape of gentle slopes and rich silt-loamy soils of a river basin. Looking north you see Yakima Ridge-Cleman Mountain with Mount Rainier in the background, and the Naches River flowing through the valley. As you look south you see Rattlesnake Hills-Ahtanum Ridge with Mount Adams in the background. The Yakima River flows north-south through the Selah and Union Gaps connecting the Kittitas Valley with the greater Yakima Valley.
The climate of Yakima Valley is mild and dry, having the characteristics of both maritime and continental climates modified by the Cascade and Rocky Mountains. The Yakima Valley lies within the rain shadow of the Cascades, so the total amount of precipitation is relatively small. The summers are dry and hot, and winters are cool with light snowfall. The maritime influence is strongest in the winter when the prevailing westerlies are stronger and steadier. The modifying influence of the Pacific Ocean is less evident in summer. Summer afternoons are hot yet, due to the dry air there is a rapid fall in temperatures after sunset.