Yet another snowfall - the seventh of the year-swept through the Washington area last night, covering roads again sending plows and salt spreaders onto the highways.

Police and road officials reported heavier accumulations of snow in the western suburbs as the storm system carrying the wet snow and sleet churned slowly up the East Coast.

The National Weather Service described the system as a "secondary low pressure area"-a kind of meteorogical cousin to the massive storm that gripped much of the Midwest yesterday in heavy snow and frigid temperatures.

Schools, businesses and airports were closed in parts of Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas as up to 20 inches of snow fell. The storm also reached into Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, bringing new misery to that already snow-burdened area.

On the West Coast, new rain storms triggered flooding and mud slides in parts of southern California.Hundreds of homes were evacuated in the foothill areas of Los Angeles.

Inland, rain snow and flooding have claimed at least 14 lives since last Friday from the southern mountains to the northern Sierras.

California Gov. Edmund G Brown said last night he planned to declare a state of emergency in affected areas.

One of the few parts of the nation spread nature's onslaught last night was New England, which still is digging out from last week's blizzard.

In the Washington area, evening traffic was slowed and a number of minor fender bender accidents were reported.

A nine-car pileup on Shirley Highway near the Shirlington exit blocked northbound traffic,and a hole in the Minnesota Avenue overpass in North east Washington narrowed traffic there to a single lane for a period last night.

The D C snow emergency center dispatched 87 salt spreaders to strategic points in the city to prepare the roads for this morning's incoming commuters. Similar measures were taken by road crews throughout the suburbs.

The National Weather Service called for the snow to taper off this morning with partial clearing this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to drop to 18 to 25 degrees tonight, followed by sunny skies Wednesday with high temperatures in the low to mid 30s.

Last night's snow was the latest in a series of storms and lesser occurrences that have dumped almost 13 inches of snow on the area since Jan. 1. The snows, falling at measured intervals have left a mantle of white on the ground almost constantly in many areas for more than a month.

Measurable amounts have been recorded at Washington National Airport on the following dates: Jan. 9, .6 inches: Jan. 13, 4.6 inches; Jan. 16-17, 1.0 inches; Jan 19-20, 4.1 inches; Feb. 2, .3 inches, and Feb. 5-6, 2.2 inches. Greater amounts have accumulated in the suburbs.

Temperatures also have been well below normal for the season, though still far from last winter's record-setting cold.