Residents in Portland and Seattle, two cities where rain is more common than snow in the winter, emptied grocery store shelves and waited in long lines to buy shovels and de-icer. And wouldn't you know it, the city's canine residents can't get enough.
The National Weather Service said additional snow could fall Saturday, and another storm was expected early next week. It's the second most snow recorded in the area in a day for the past 20 years, and more is still to come.
NWS forecasters say the heaviest precipitation is expected Friday evening and then overnight into Saturday.
Another cold winter storm is on the way to Northern California this weekend.
"Everyone in our state needs to focus on preparing for the snow and staying safe", Inslee said in a statement.
"A powerful storm system diving southward brought heavy snow to much of Seattle over the past 24 hours", said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
Was the Fourth-Warmest Year on Record
An iceberg melts in the waters off Antarctica. "The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years", Mr Taalas said. Such cold weather has made it really hard for many to believe that global warming is real.
In Seattle, the city was using 34 vehicles to plows, salt and de-icing roads with 14 hand crews shuvoeling sidewalks in the center city, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan's office. Total snowfall amounts will reach 25 to 30 cm in most areas by Friday morning.
Officials have issued a winter storm warning for the Puget Sound region including Seattle.
Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Monday afternoon, CNN's Brink said, with the forecast high expected to hit 35 degrees F. The windchill would feel like it's in the teens.
Officials shut down a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 east of Ellensburg due to blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.
At Sea-Tac, 223 outgoing and incoming flights were canceled and 298 were delayed Saturday, according to Flight Aware through 3 p.m.
Marquise Lyons, left, and stepfather Curtis Black make their way down a closed snow-covered residential street January 18, 2012, in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.
In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power.