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Snow advisory issued for Thursday

A winter weather advisory for 1 to 2 inches of snow above 2000 feet in elevation was issued for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas starting at 7 a.m. Thursday with even more snow expected in areas to the north of both cities, the National Weather Service said today.

The advisory will remain in effect until 4 p.m.

Warmer daytime temperatures could inhibit accumulations in lower valley areas, forecasters said. Precipitation should taper off Thursday evening, they said.

In mountainous valleys to the north and east, forecasters said 2 to 4 inches of snow, possibly more in some locales, could fall through Thursday. Up to 10 inches could accumulate in the mountains, including the region’s ski areas.

Downtown Spokane is about 1,900 feet in elevation while the top of the hill on North Division Street and Spokane Valley just east of Argonne Road are at 2,000 feet.

A moist low pressure system that was stalled just offshore from Vancouver Island was expected to re-energize and send a new wave of precipitation inland, drawing enough cold air from the north to create the chance of snow throughout the Pacific Northwest. Hilly areas in western Washington and Oregon as low as 400 to 500 feet in elevation could see snow tonight from the storm.

As the low exits Thursday night, it is expected to draw colder northern air across the region causing lows to drop to the low- to mid-20s by Friday night, but temperatures should moderate over the weekend.

A cool sunny day with a high of 40 is expected in Spokane on Saturday with rain returning on Sunday with a high of 47.

The weather so far this week has been relatively wet. Over the past 48 hours ending at 3 p.m., a half-inch of rain had fallen in the Spokane area.

Moderate snow was reported this afternoon at Lookout Pass. Heavy snow was reported this morning at Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint. This morning’s measurement at Schweitzer showed 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours.

Snowfall in the mountains was welcome news after nearly six weeks of relatively dry weather that caused snowpacks to drop to about 70 percent of normal across Northeast Washington and North Idaho.

Some of the mountains in the central Idaho Panhandle may have had significant precipitation. A weather service chart showed that 3 to 4 inches of melted precipitation, possibly more, fell in areas to the southeast of Wallace along the Montana border.

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