SEATTLE - A powerful late spring storm is expected to hit Western Washington overnight Sunday and into Monday, bringing high winds to much of the area and heavy snow in the mountains.

Wind will be on the increase as a cold front approaches, with the windiest locations along the coast, straight, and north interior tomorrow, said KING 5 forecaster Lisa Van Cise.

South winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph are possible.

The National Weather Service says strong and sudden cross winds are possible across the north-south oriented highways, such as interstate 5, on Monday. This could affect high profile vehicles.

In the Cascades and the Olympics, snowfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are possible, with the heaviest snow falling above the 3,500-foot level.

In addition to the heavy snow, gusty west winds of 30 to 40 mph are expected on Monday behind the cold front.

The snow level will plummet to near 2,500 feet late Sunday or early Monday morning.

Heavy snow is possible in the highway passes, especially Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass, as a Puget Sound convergence zone develops.

Visibility may also be reduced in blowing snow with west winds 20 to 30 mph. Show showers may persist in the Cascades through Tuesday morning before diminishing.

In the Columbia Gorge, the Yakima Valley and Lower Columbia Basin, winds of 30 to 45 mph are possible, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.

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