Wet and windy around town, but heavy snow is falling in the mountains

The weather is a wee bit wicked Tuesday.

Winds are ripping through Western Washington and several feet of snow is falling in the Cascades, making travel on the roads more difficult.

A wind advisory is in effect for Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle, Bellevue, Shelter and Montesano.

Gusts could reach 45 mph and sustained winds will be 20 to 35 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The strongest winds are forecast to blow through by 11:30 a.m. Officials warn that power outages are possible and small branches are likely to break off trees.

Up to a half inch of rain could fall in Tacoma before the sun comes back Wednesday afternoon.

In the mountains, forecasters said up to two feet of snow was possible near Mount Rainier.

Snow levels dropped to 2,500 feet.

A winter storm warning is in effect for many mountain areas, including Paradise, Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, Crystal Mountain Ski Area and White Pass.

On Tuesday morning, eastbound Interstate 90 on Snoqualmie Pass near Tinkham Road closed due to multiple collisions on the snowy roads.

The Pass was estimated to reopen by 10:30 a.m.

Avalanche danger was high throughout the state, with the combination of heavy snow and wind posing dangers in the backcountry.

Wednesday and Thursday could bring clear skies and some sunshine, the Weather Service said.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653