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Winter storm warning issued for Seattle, Western Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — A winter storm warning with very cold temperatures has been issued for the city of Seattle and much of Western Washington through Tuesday.

Heavy snow is expected starting Monday evening with 2 to 8 inches (5 to 20 centimeters) expected, according to the National Weather Service. The city of Seattle sent out an alert Monday saying people should avoid travel on Tuesday if possible and that emergency shelters were open.

In the Olympic and Cascade mountains, from 5 to 18 inches of snow (13 to 46 centimeters) is expected to fall with the heaviest amounts over Snoqualmie and Stevens passes. Officials said the heaviest snow will fall Tuesday. Snow in the mountains could continue into Wednesday.

The weather service said people should plan on difficult travel with potentially hazardous conditions along Interstate 90 especially over the Cascades. Heavy snow, poor visibility and whiteout conditions prompted officials to tweet that the Washington State Patrol would be enforcing vehicle chain requirements. U.S. 97′s Blewett Pass was closed east of Cle Elum earlier Monday because of multiple jackknifed semi-trailer trucks, officials said.

Temperatures from the teens to upper 20s Fahrenheit, with winds making it feel even colder, also are expected all week.

Updated winter travel information can be found at the Washington Department of Transportation website.