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Seattle weather: Some snow but massive storm in other parts of state

January 18, 2012 |  7:21 am
A snow-covered pickup truck exits Interstate 90 on Tuesday near North Bend, Wash.

Seattle is waking up this morning to a blanket of snow. It won't be a record snowfall  for the city -- but it's a "whole other story" for the southwest interior of Washington state, where 10 to 20 more inches of snow are expected.

The southern two-thirds of western Washington are under a winter storm warning, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle. The area already has had nearly a foot of snow in the last six hours, he said.

"Getting over a foot of snow anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains" is unusual, Guy said in an interview, and "travel will be quite difficult. ... Smaller communities likely will not see roads plowed anytime soon."

"Seattle itself, we've only got 1 to 2 inches so far," he said. "We'll get more throughout the morning and afternoon. We're expecting a total of 3 to 6."

For a "top 10" snowfall, Seattle would have to receive 7 inches in a 24-hour period, he said. Although the current storm is "'still a significant snow event," it's not likely one for the record books.

It's a "heavy snow event" for the Cascade Mountains too, Guy said.

"We see winter storm warnings for the mountains quite frequently ... but this is not the typical thing we see," he said. From 1 1/2 to 3 feet of snow are predicted.

Relief should arrive Thursday, the meteorologist said, with rain and a gradual warm-up throughout the day and into the evening. Then, there will be "a big slushy mess for quite a while."

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-- Amy Hubbard

Photo: A snow-covered pickup truck exits Interstate 90 on Tuesday near North Bend, Wash. Credit: Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

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