Mary Anna (19 Jan 2012)
"16 inches of snow and counting in some parts of Pacific Northwest",0_

The southwest interior of Washington state, including the capital, Olympia, could be blanketed by up to 20 inches of snow, the weather service said, an increase from an earlier forecast of 5 to 10 inches. Olympia already had recorded 10 inches before 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The town of Winlock, Washington, about 105 miles south of Seattle, had received 16 inches by late Wednesday morning, the weather service said. The town of Chehalis, about 18 miles north of Winlock, had 14 inches.

Precipitation moving in from the south and west is combining with cold air moving south from Canada to create the heavy snowfall, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist at the weather service's Seattle office.

If snowfall amounts top 7 inches, the winter weather event will rank among Seattle's 10 worst since the early 1940s, when record-keeping began, he added.