Zone information

This may seem like a dumb question, but it is obviously quite important in order to get anything out of a lot of the conversations here. What is the standard guidlines for zones across the U.S. I have heard my area called zone 5, and zone 7. I live in Western Washington, around Tacoma.
Is there a website that plots these zones across the U.S? I Just want to make sure that I am on the same page as everyone else, when asking questions, and getting info from other posts.
Thanks a lot.
-Steve Michaelson (Newbie Gardener)
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Steve Michaelson said:

You should be zone 8a (USDA). Local microclimate might vary slightly.
I think the 'zone 5' is from the Sunset gardening zones (which take into account more than just the winter low temperatures).
USDA Zone map: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nw1.html
USDA Zone look-up (by zip code): http://www.arborday.org/trees/whatzone.html
Link to Sunset Climate Zones for Washington (careful, line wrap): http://www.sunset.com/sunset/web/Sponsors/Garden/sunsetmonrovia_r1/htmlfiles/zo ne_map1.html
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http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html
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McQualude

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Thank you both very much. It is 8a. That is just what I was looking for!
Thanks Again,
-Steve Michaelson
said:

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