The National Weather Service has scaled back its prediction for “the heaviest snowfall in decades” in Seattle Wednesday, but said it will still be a significant event. Snow began falling after 2 a.m., and could reach six inches by this afternoon, the Seattle Times reports.

A woman walks her dog in Sunday’s snowstorm in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

In the stretch of land between the two cities, however, including Olympia and Longview, the snowstorm is far worse. Between 12 and 15 inches of snow were reported by 6:30 a.m., and those levels may reach an incredible 20 inches by afternoon.

In response to the storm, much of western Washington closed schools, canceled flights and watch traffic grind to a halt. The view from the top of Seattle’s space needle shows the Cascade Mountain Range barely visible through the snow:

(Space Needle site)

A map from the National Weather Service’s Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center shows Washington’s estimated snow depths on Tuesday. Using ground based sensors, satellites, and aircraft reconnaissance (where available), the dark blue color indicates just how much snow is blanketing the ground:


One Washingtonian reacted to the snow by making his own version of the video meme [Expletive] People Say, called [Expletive] Seattle People Say When it Snows. “You expect me to take a bus?” he asks in the video. “I gotta a Suburu Forester, so I should be good,” he decides. The video may be riffing off a YouTube video that went viral this week that shows Seattle drivers struggling with two inches of snow:

(As many readers have pointed out, the hilly nature of Seattle makes driving in snow much harder than it appears above.)