A Pacific storm blanketed Seattle in more than four inches of snow, forcing airline flight cancellations and snarling traffic throughout a city more accustomed to rain than severe winter weather.
But the storm, nicknamed "Snowmageddon" as it approached the Puget Sound region, proved less extreme than originally forecast, with the National Weather Service lowering its outlook for possible snow accumulations from up to 10 inches to around 6 inches, meteorologist Dustin Guy said.
Alaska Airlines cancelled over 40 flights departing from or arriving in Seattle as a result of the storm, the company said. Southwest Airlines cancelled six flights into Seattle early in the day but resumed all flights by mid-morning, said company spokeswoman Ashley Dillon.
The storm, which arrived on Tuesday evening, bore down more forcefully on towns in the interior part of Washington state, where snowfall totals ranging from 10 inches to 20 inches were forecast, the Weather Service said.
Four inches of snow was measured at the city's Sea-Tac Airport by mid-morning, and the Seattle suburb of Bothell was blanketed with nearly seven inches of snow, the Weather Service reported.
Normally temperate Seattle is more accustomed to steady rain than snow in winter, averaging just 6 to 7 inches of snow each year, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Colman.