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Big Snowstorm Probably Unlikely

Sat., Nov. 16, 1996

All week long forecasters pondered the prospect of a big snowstorm this weekend.

Some of the half-dozen computer models they use to write forecasts called for snow, even as late as Friday. Other computer models were forecasting milder conditions.

“Right now, the latest thinking is the big storm that looked like it was going to happen is probably going to be benign,” Daran Rife, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Spokane, said Friday afternoon.

Arctic cold was seeping down from the north, and was expected to get caught up in a developing low-pressure system that formed Friday over Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

That system was expected to bring a threat of snow over the Inland Northwest until later today.

At the same time, milder air was streaming on shore in Oregon and northern California, and was expected to move north later today or Sunday.

On Friday night, snow was reported throughout the Spokane area, including Felts Field, the South Hill and Deer Park.

The push of Arctic air that was visible Friday on weather satellites was not expected to be strong enough to keep the snow falling all weekend, Rife said.

Rain was forecast for tonight and Sunday as temperatures ease back into the low 40s and the snow level climbs to 3,500 feet in the mountains on Sunday.

“We are going to see quite a bit of warm air,” said Rife.

, DataTimes

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