Seattle Weather: Snowfall Starts, Flights Cancelled, Schools Closed

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Seattle
Seattle residents Sarah Shropshire (L) and Larisa Campbell, both 10, pull their sleds as snow falls in Maple Leaf Park in Seattle January 17, 2012. Resident of the Puget Sound region are bracing themselves for a major snowstorm overnight that is expected to deliver the highest snowfall in 25 years.

Snow starting falling on Seattle early on Wednesday morning, but despite the National Weather Service scaling back its snowfall predictions, a significant weather warning is still in place with schools,flights and Amtrak being cancelled ahead of time to prepare for snow accumulation.

The National Weather Service predicts 5 to 10 inches of snow accumulation in the southwest interior and 4 to8 inches in the Seattle area, including Hood Canal and East Puget, Sound Lowland and the central coast. The Cascades will get heavy snow with up to 2 feet, according to meteorologist Dustin Guy, the Associated Press reported.

Freezing rain is also a possibility in the South Sound area, according to the National Weather Service, with the possibility of local ice accumulation of up to one-tenth of an inch along the I-5 corridor between Olympia and Chehalis.

The main impact of the snow storm will be extreme travel difficulties, therefore schools and flights have been cancelled in advance and the transportation department has sent out crews to sand the roads.

Alaska Airlines has cancelled 38 flights between Seattle and San Francisco, Los Angeles, Puerto Vallarta and Kelowna. Horizon air has also reported cancellations, which can be found on their Website. The airlines are working to get passengers booked on the next available flights and full refunds are being offered for cancelled flights. American Airlines also reported a flight cancellation between Seattle and New York, JFK.

The National Weather Service sent out an advisory to residents urging them to stock up on food and water, and carry an extra flashlight when travelling in the area.

Although snow predictions have been scaled back, this could still be the heaviest snowstorm to hit Seattle in almost 30 years. The last blizzard that took place in 1985 left 9.4 inches of snow at Seattle's Sea-Tac airport.

Seattle's largest snowstorm on record occurred between Jan 5-9 in 1880, with snow accumulation of 6 feet in some places, according to the Daily Mail.

Tweets from Seattle this morning:

JimCantore Jim Cantore 

Taking in my 1st big #Seattle #snow coverage. Could be a wild Wednesday here. #Weather has been top of mind for all here since Sunday..

KIRO7Seattle KIRO 7 

Wow, the snow is moving north pretty fast. Looks like it will get toSeattle much FASTER than the previous 4a prediction.

KING5Seattle KING 5 News 

Amtrak has canceled Seattle to Portland train service due to snow, via @King5TracyT #wasnow

Earth__Watch Earth Watch 

Will Seattle Get Buried-Probably So!   La Nina patterns can sometimes bring heavy snow to places... via @wildweatherdanbit.ly/yuHQPh

lisamarieblaski Lisa Marie Blaskie 

Snowbound in Seattle: Infamous for its rain, Seattle is getting slugged by snow, with several inches fall... bit.ly/A3jQdn via @daily

HughL Hugh L ??? 

opened front door to see that snow on the ground. unimpressed w/ the accumulation. seattle weathermen under-delivered on their forecast :-/

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