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January 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

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Heaviest snow expected to hit Seattle area between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday

The snowstorm that could drop 5 to 10 inches of snow on the Seattle area Wednesday is supposed to hit the coast about midnight Tuesday and arrive in the Seattle metro area by 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. -- in plenty of time to mess up the morning commute.

"This is a good day to stay home," said Ted Buehner of the Weather Service. "This is a widespread and significant snow event." He said even with highway crews on the jobs, some sidestreets are likely to be treacherous, perhaps impassible.

Snowfall totals could vary widely around the region, and could be highest - a foot or more -- in the South Puget Sound area, Buehner said.

Once it hits, the Wednesday storm is expected to settle in for the day, with steady snowfall continuing all day.

The total amount of snow in the latest forecast is less than the 6 to 14 inches forecasters originally called for, but still plenty to cover local roads and highways, making travel difficult to impassible on some routes.

Meteorologist Dana Felton had said earlier that if 10 inches of snow fall in Seattle it would be an amount the region hasn't seen since 1996.

More snow, or freezing rain, could fall on Thursday, with the area completely switching over to rain by Friday, when temperatures will reach into the mid 40s.

Here's a forecast of the possible accumulations tomorrow from the National Weather Service (as of 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon):


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