SEATTLE -

It could be a difficult commute Friday morning in the Seattle area with the first significant snow of the season forecast in the Puget Sound lowlands.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for 1 to 5 inches of snow from Tacoma north. Forecasters also expect 1 to 3 inches on the coast and southwest Washington.

Heavier snow is expected in the mountains, making driving difficult through the Cascade passes. And snow is forecast in southeast Washington.

Forecasters say the snow will turn to rain later Friday in Western Washington. The chance of rain or snow will persist through the weekend in Eastern Washington.

Forecasters expect drier but cloudy weather through Christmas in Washington.