Seattle Weather: City to Receive Less Snow Than Forecasted

                                                                                      Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Seattle residents are bracing for a snowstorm that is expected to leave a messy commute this morning.

Forecasters downgraded their initial predictions of at least 8 to 12 inches of snow to hit the Pacific Northwest city to about 4 to 7 inches of snow instead.

Typically, Seattle sees about 5.9 inches of snow in a year.

Either way, authorities Tuesday prepared to deal with the snowstorm's impact.

"We want to make sure we get the road network opened up so we can maintain critical services like health care. We can get people to dialysis," said Grant Tietje, Seattle's Emergency Operations Center.

Authorities are concerned about the accumulation of snow that could topple power lines and block roads.

Lawrence Eichhorn of the Seattle Department of Transportation said they'll be working closely with other agencies to keep the roads open "to make sure our resources are at the right place at the right time. And that's really been a huge difference from previous snow response."

Scott Sistek, a meteorologist for, said Tuesday that "it doesn't really matter if this storm is a record-breaker, it will have the same effect."

"This is a city with a limited number of plows and a population that is not used to driving in the snow," Sistek said.

The worst snowstorm the city has seen was in 1974 when 9.8 inches of snow fell.

ABC News Radio contributed to this report.

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