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Colder air moves into region

TUESDAY, DEC. 22, 2009, 7:24 A.M.

Bob Freer walks on top of the cement wall near Coeur d'Alene City Park with his dog Salty on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Freer is from Coeur d'Alene. (Kathy Plonka)
Bob Freer walks on top of the cement wall near Coeur d'Alene City Park with his dog Salty on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Freer is from Coeur d'Alene. (Kathy Plonka)

Dry weather arrives Wednesday. sun likely

Colder air has started filtering into the Inland Northwest this afternoon as a threat of snow showers diminishes and sets the stage for clear roads through the weekend.

Fog early and late in the day is the only hazard drivers are likely to face into early next week, forecasters said.

Light snow was falling this morning in the Palouse region of Idaho and Washington as far north as Coeur d’Alene.

Traffic cameras operated by the Washington Department of Transportation showed light amounts of fresh snow at daybreak in Pullman, Colfax, Spangle and Uniontown on U.S. Highway 195. The Lewiston Hill summit on U.S. Highway 95 in Idaho also had a light layer of snow.

New snow was also on the ground in Coeur d’Alene.

A high pressure system is moving into the region this afternoon, and will minimize the risk of snow as the day moves on. The chance of snow showers is 20 percent tonight.

High temperatures should reach the middle 30s today, and then start to plunge to the teens and 20s through Saturday. Tonight’s low should reach the lower 20s.

South winds today could reach 10 to 13 mph, but then diminish and switch to the west tonight and then northwest on Wednesday. Winds after today will mostly be light.

Dry and cloudy weather arrives on Wednesday with the colder air, which is moving southward out of British Columbia.

Temperatures are expected to be 7 to 10 degrees below normal, which in Spokane is 32 for a high and 21 for a low. Colder arctic air should remain east of the Continental Divide, forecasters said.

Sun may appear Wednesday afternoon and continue through Christmas Day.

Patchy fog is possible Wednesday morning and again late at night through mid-morning on Friday through Monday, but no precipitation is in the forecast. Higher air pressure stays anchored over the Pacific Northwest.

Highs in the 20s and lows in the teens are likely in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas through Saturday with some moderation of temperatures by Sunday and Monday.

Weather should remain quiet early next week, too, forecasters said.

Early today, light snow and slush were reported at Lookout Pass; slush at Snoqualmie Pass; and icy patches at Fourth of July Summit on Interstate 90. The three passes were open to traffic.



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