January 7, 2008 in City

More snow in forecast for week

By The Spokesman-Review
 

An additional 1 to 2 inches or more of snow could begin falling across the area today, with more forecast throughout the week.

Another storm expected Tuesday will bring the potential for heavy accumulations throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho, said Ron Miller a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Tuesday’s storm could continue into Wednesday, Miller said.

Sunday’s snow kept area law enforcement agencies busy, as snowpacked roads turned to ice. Idaho State Police responded to numerous accidents, said a spokeswoman.

In addition to hazardous driving conditions, new snow falling on top of snow melted by warmer temperatures is increasing avalanche danger in the Cascades and mountains of British Columbia, and could cause danger in the mountains of North Idaho and Eastern Washington.

Backcountry skiers, hikers and snowmobile riders should be on the alert, said Miller.

“Periods of freezing, thawing and snow are causing some unstable snowpack conditions,” he said.

Search crews early Saturday recovered the body of a 13-year-old girl killed in an avalanche while hiking in the Cascades northeast of Seattle.

The girl, whose name was not immediately released, was with a group of six children, ages 12 to 16, and a 45-year-old man, when the avalanche occurred Friday afternoon near Mount Pilchuck.

In Kelowna, B.C., two skiers who were partially buried in the snow Sunday at Big White ski resort were rescued on a particularly difficult ski run.

The two – one of them a 12-year-old boy – were in good condition.

Snow slides have killed nine people in Washington so far this season.

Normally, state officials see two to three avalanche deaths each winter.

But Washington’s snowpack is 30 percent to 60 percent above normal. And the snow isn’t falling in the usual steady pattern that leaves a hard, solid snowpack, said Kenny Kramer, avalanche meteorologist with the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center.

The series of storms has Idaho ski resort operators smiling.

More than a foot of snow fell in some areas last week with more powder expected today.

In North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint reported 17 inches of snow since Friday.

Mount Spokane reported 11 inches of snow in the last two days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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