Arrow-right Camera


Flood advisory lifted for Spokane, Kootenai counties

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16, 2009, 7:45 A.M.

Spokane sets daily precipitation record on Tuesday

An urban and small stream flood advisory issued earlier today for Spokane and Kootenai counties has been lifted. A combination of snow melt and rain clogged streets and storm drains, creating hazards of standing water for motorists.

Spokane set a 24-hour precipitation record of .61 inches on Tuesday, beating out the previous record for the day of .55 set in 1906.

Icy streets were also causing problems where snow and rain compacted into treacherous surfaces.

The National Weather Service said the water danger will continue through 8:15 p.m.

In addition, a freezing rain advisory has been posted Yakima and Ellensburg and surrounding areas.

Moist Pacific Ocean air above the ground has swept across the region, dropping mostly rain into the cold air at the surface left over from last week’s arctic freeze.

Pavement surfaces were also very cold which aided in the formation of ice on streets and walkways.

Forecasters are calling for a 40 percent chance of rain today and a 70 percent chance tonight with highs today in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene in the upper 30s in Spokane to lower 40s in Coeur d’Alene.

The chances of rain and milder conditions are expected to continue into the weekend with highs and lows in Spokane in the 30s. A chance of rain and snow arrives on Saturday and Sunday nights as lows slip back into the 20s. However, highs over the weekend should be in the middle 30s.

Periods of valley rain and mountain snow continue early next week before high pressure settles over the region during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, bringing cooler temperatures, according to computer forecast models.

At 1 p.m., the temperature was 43 at Spkokane International Airport.

Cold air has been hanging on in the northern Columbia Basin, east slopes of the Cascades and mountain valleys of the northern mountains, making weather conditions a mix of rain, ice and snow. Temperatures were about 10 degrees colder than Spokane.

Snow levels in the northern counties should be at 3,500 feet today falling to 3,000 feet tonight. Snow accumulations of 2 o 4 inches are expected tonight in the mountains.

At 7 a.m., it was 37 at Spokane International Airport and downtown Spokane, 38 in Coeur d’Alene, 32 in Sandpoint, 35 in Newport, 27 in Colville, 34 in Deer Park and 37 in Pullman.

The National Weather Service said the 2-day storm dropped 4.1 inches of snow at the Spokane airport, 7.5 inches in Sandpoint, 4 inches in Deer Park and Coeur d’Alene, 5.5 inches in Moses Lake and 3 inches in Chewelah.

Click here to comment on this story »