The weather service has a winter-storm watch from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. Higher elevation areas such as the Teton Valley, the Snake River Highlands, or near Island Park might see between 6 and 12 inches of snow.
Almost 20 million people in the Northwest are under storm alerts Saturday morning as one to two more inches of snow are expected to fall in Seattle, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.
More snowfall is expected in the region early this week.
Officials shut down a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 east of Ellensburg due to blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility. "Weather forecasters predict this may be a storm unlike one we've seen in many years". "This is a ideal morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible", he tweeted Saturday.
The Seattle Police Department tweeted that additional resources have been dedicated to getting the homeless community to warm shelters.
With the declaration of a state of emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is limiting the number of hours commercial vehicle drivers can be on the road.
Schools and offices closed early in the Seattle area, and commuters swarmed the roads in an effort to get home before the heaviest snow arrived.
Wintry winds from the Fraser River Valley in Canada are expected to blow into the Puget Sound region at around 20 to 35 miles per hour.
The storm will likely to affect travel Tuesday afternoon and evening, with snow expected after 1 p.m. and a possible accumulation of 2 to 4 inches in Boston, forecasters said. The possibility of rain before temperatures go below freezing means pre-treating roads would be ineffective, since salt would be washed away.
Seattle's average high at this time of year is 49 degrees, Brink said.
Children sled on a hill in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on February 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.
The Seattle area faces another one-two punch of snowstorms from late Sunday into Tuesday of next week.
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