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Wintry look makes a comeback

Sat., March 22, 2008

Easter finery may have to give way to rain gear.

Forecasters are predicting rain Sunday as the next in a series of early spring storms arrives across the region.

Friday’s snowfall brought accumulations of up to 6 inches to outlying areas, but less than 2 inches to Spokane and Spokane Valley.

It was the first significant accumulation since Feb. 15, when a little more than an inch of snow fell in Spokane.

Through Friday, Spokane has received 73.8 inches of snow this season at Spokane International Airport, the official monitoring site for the National Weather Service.

That makes this season the eighth snowiest, according to records that date to 1890.

“Any way you look at it, it was pretty white for a while,” said Mike Fries, weather service forecaster in Spokane.

During the past 30 years, the average annual snowfall has been 44.1 inches through March 20. Last year at this time, only 35 inches had fallen in Spokane.

On Friday, locales north of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene saw heavier accumulations, partly because many areas still have snow on the ground, Fries said.

Trained weather spotters and amateur radio operators gave these snowfall reports: 4 inches at a location five miles northeast of Hayden in Kootenai County; 5.5 inches at a spot three miles west of Naples in Boundary County; 4.5 inches at Clayton in Stevens County; 7 inches near Loon Lake in Stevens County; and 6 inches near Fernan Lake Village in Kootenai County.

Fries said early spring snow is not unusual in the Spokane region. Weather records show that snow has fallen on the first or second day of spring about 15 times since 1881.

Snow levels are expected to rise into the mountains during the day Sunday, and snow showers are possible at valley locations during the evening, forecasters said.

Sunday’s high temperature is expected to be in the mid-40s after an overnight low Saturday of about 33 degrees.

Tags: snow, weather

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