April 1, 2009 in City, Idaho

No April Fool’s: snow tonight

By The Spokesman-Review
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Winter refuses to release its grip over the Inland Northwest. A winter weather advisory was posted this afternoon by the National Weather Service for snow in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas from 11 tonight to 11 a.m. Thursday.

The advisory comes as a snow shower moved into Spokane at mid-afternoon, and forecasters said there is a 50 percent chance of snow showers this evening.

Tonight, much of the urban area can expect 1 to 3 inches of snow with up to 5 inches near Coeur d’Alene, forecasters said. The snow level is expected to fall to about 2,000 feet, which is the elevation of the North Hill and lower South Hill in Spokane.

The heaviest snowfall should begin about 2 a.m. and continue through Thursday morning’s commute, forecasters said.

Drivers are being warned of slick driving conditions and limited visibility.

But forecasters are promising the weather should start clearing out in time for the weekend.

The National Weather Service earlier today issued a hazardous weather outlook for the Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Palouse regions for a mix of rain or snow tonight, but upgraded it to a winter weather advisory at 3 p.m.

A winter storm watch has been posted for the mountains and valleys to the north, east and south of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, but now the mountainous country is included in the winter weather advisory. Snow accumulation of 5 to 11 inches is possible in the mountains.

Afternoon temperatures across the region were in the mid- to upper-30s, well below forecasted highs of 41 degrees in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene and nearly 20 degrees below normal for April 1.

Temperatures at 7 a.m. across the region were 26 in Spokane, 29 in Coeur d’Alene and 30 in Pullman.

The normal temperatures for Spokane today are 53 for a high and 33 for a low. The record high for today is 73, set in 1881, the same year weather record-keeping began.

Forecasters say that starting on Friday “high pressure will result in a warming and drying trend for a nice weekend with temperatures near normal.”

On Tuesday, the weather service reported that .2 inches of snow was measured at the Spokane airport, bringing the season’s record snowfall total to 93.8 inches. The record was set early Monday, breaking the old record of 93.5 inches set in 1949-1950.

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