msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/26/2009 11:29:42 AM ET 2009-02-26T16:29:42

A winter storm socked the Pacific Northwest on Thursday.

The Seattle area and much of Washington state woke up Thursday morning to snow, with accumulations expected to range between 2 and 10 inches.

Schools across western Washington delayed classes by several hours, while many commuters encountered slippery roads and accidents.

The storm was moving east towards Idaho and western Montana.

Rain and snow also was expected over higher elevations in northern California and the Northern Rockies.

The Northern Plains were expected to continue experiencing bitter cold temperatures. Winds of 15 to 25 mph were to send wind chills near 20 below zero. Light periods of snow were expected to accompany the chilly weather.

The heaviest snow showers were expected over central and southern Minnesota.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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