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Heavy snow covers Seattle; winter storm expected to hit Midwest and Northeast

Winter weather slams both coasts

Another day means another snow storm in Seattle, beginning Monday and running through Tuesday morning. Schools were closed across Washington state and the Legislature canceled all hearings Monday. Seattle's metro area had already been hit by three snow storms this month: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has seen 14.1 inches of snow so far in February, which is twice the annual average and the snowiest month in more than 30 years. Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee previously declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

"You've got storm after storm sliding down the sweet spot to produce low-level snow," said Kirby Cook, a meteorologist at Seattle's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration office. He described weather systems pulling cold air from Canada and combining it with moist air pulled east from the Pacific Ocean.

Seattle, Washington — winter weather
Gina Nakamura skis past a nearly life-size snow sculpture of an orca whale as downtown is just visible in a light snow on Mon., Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle. AP

On Monday, snow totals have come down just a bit, but some 5-10 inches have been reported in places like Bremerton and Everett. The National Weather Service (NWS) said 6.5 inches of snow fell north of Olympia airport.

Seattle will come out with lower snowfall as there's enough warm air to mix in some sleet to lower totals. There's snow in the forecast every day this week, so the region is far from seeing any break soon.

The National Weather Service urged motorists to take caution.

Farther south, snow returns to the Sierra on Tuesday night with another 3-5 feet there by Thursday.

In the Midwest, heavy snow will fall in Wisconsin, Michigan and eastern Iowa is expected through Tuesday. The region could see up to a 1 foot in some area. Farther south, like in Chicago, there should be more freezing rain into Tuesday. There could be a quarter inch of ice in some of the suburbs, which might make a mess for the Tuesday morning commute. Farther south, it's heavy rain in Arkansas, western Tennessee, Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Rare snow blankets Seattle, wreaking havoc

Here's a look at some other states seeing winter weather strike:

New York

Officials are warning New York state residents to be prepared for a storm expected to bring sleet, freezing rain and snowfall totals ranging from a few inches downstate to up to 2 feet in northern areas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the impending storm is expected to hit western areas of the state Tuesday morning and make its way east, with slippery roads and blowing snow likely for the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes.

The Democrat says forecasts call for as much as 2 feet of snow in the Tug Hill Plateau area off Lake Ontario's eastern end.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in Albany on Monday for a state budget hearing, says conditions downstate could be "nasty" Tuesday.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy is declaring a state of emergency effective at midnight as a winter storm is poised to dump snow, sleet and rain across New Jersey.

Murphy said Monday the northwest part of the state is bracing for up to 8 inches of snow. The northern and central parts of the state are expected to get snow as well as a wintry mix, while southern New Jersey is likely to see sleet turning to rain.

The governor says Interstates 287 and 78 will be closed to commercial vehicles when the declaration takes effect.

A decision about whether state offices will open on Tuesday is expected to come later Monday.

Murphy advised residents not to venture out in the bad weather and to report any power failures with their electric utility. 

Vermont

Vermont is in for another snowstorm that could bring up to a foot of snow and sleet to some areas.

The snow will start falling Tuesday afternoon and become heavy at times Tuesday evening and night. The National Weather Service says snow will change to sleet Tuesday night and back over to snow by Wednesday morning.

The snow-covered roads and reduced visibility will make for difficult driving conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The snow is expected to taper off Wednesday afternoon.

The forecast calls for 6 to 12 inches of accumulation.

Wisconsin

Residents are alerted ahead of Tuesday's storm that will bring heavy snow accumulations to the area, perhaps in excess of 10 inches for some just north and west of Madison, CBS affiliate WISC-TV reports. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in place for all of Wisconsin, WISC-TV says, with the extreme southeast being under the winter weather advisories.

David Parkinson contributed to this report.