December 29, 2009 in City

Forecast calls for snow on New Year’s holiday

Pair of storms expected to drop 3 inches by Friday
By The Spokesman-Review

Much of the Inland Northwest may have missed out on a white Christmas this year, but forecasters are promising to make up for it this week.

National Weather Service meteorologists Monday were eyeing a pair of Pacific storm systems moving toward the Inland Northwest.

They are expected to drop an inch or so of snow tonight and Wednesday and again on Thursday night and Friday.

Precipitation across lower elevations should change from snow to rain Friday.

A total of 3.2 inches of snow is expected in Spokane from the two storms, and 2.3 inches of snow is expected in Coeur d’Alene.

Snow levels around Spokane and Coeur d’Alene will rise to about 3,000 feet Friday.

Cold air is expected to hang on longer in the northern mountain valleys of Eastern Washington and North Idaho as well as the east slopes of the Cascades on Friday, when freezing rain is possible in the western sections of the Columbia Basin, forecaster Bob Tobin said.

A third storm system is possible over the weekend, with a chance of rain Saturday and rain or snow Saturday night and Sunday.

Southeast Washington and the Lewiston area may see several inches of snow tonight, and forecasters were considering a winter weather advisory for that area.

The National Weather Service on Monday extended an air stagnation advisory for Eastern Washington and North Idaho through Wednesday morning because of a lower-elevation temperature inversion.

Cold air was held beneath warmer air, preventing pollutants from dispersing.

Spokane’s air quality Monday morning declined from good to moderately polluted, mostly because of wood smoke.

Outdoor burning was banned Monday in North Idaho.

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