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Highway 27 near Tekoa reopened; snow coming

State Highway 27 near Tekoa was reopened this afternoon after runoff flooded across the pavement earlier today at the same time the National Weather Service continued to call for rain and snow Wednesday and Thursday.

The weather service continued a hazardous weather outlook for snow in the Inland Northwest starting Wednesday evening with the potential for heavier amounts east of Coeur d’Alene where a winter storm watch was posted this afternoon.

Earlier today, rainwater from precipitation since Sunday flooded state Highway 27 near Tekoa. The weather service issued a flood advisory for northeast Whitman County, warning residents of flooding on small streams until 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters said rain combined with saturated or frozen soil contributed to the problem of heavy runoff.

Wet weather across the Inland Northwest was expected to give way to colder temperatures and the likelihood of rain turning to snow starting as early as Wednesday morning and again on Wednesday night and Thursday.

Light to moderate accumulations of snow could come to the valleys of the Inland Northwest on Thursday with heavier snow in the mountains. Heaviest snowfall is expected in the mountains and valleys east and south of Coeur d’Alene, including Shoshone County where a winter storm warning was posted.

Highs today are forecast to reach the mid-40s under a mix of sun breaks and clouds, according to the National Weather Service. A chance of snow is expected tonight after 10 as the temperatures dip below freezing.

On Wednesday, forecasters are predicting a cold front to move south out of Canada. The snow level could drop to 2,000 feet on Thursday morning in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas where light to moderate accumulations are predicted.

Temperatures should be in the mid-40s Wednesday and below freezing overnight.

Winds of 15 to 25 mph could pick up Thursday afternoon around Spokane. Snow showers are expected again Thursday night.

A break in the precipitation is expected Friday with overnight lows in the 20s both Thursday and Friday nights. Highs on Friday may only reach 32 degrees, according to the weather service.

Another system on Saturday brings a chance of more snow accumulations across the region, but this time it would be localized beneath smaller pockets of storm activity rather than coming from a broad storm system.

Spokane International Airport has had .71 inches of rain since Sunday afternoon. Coeur d’Alene Airport had more than .50 inches of rain.

In dryland farming areas of the Columbia Basin, forecasters said a low off the Oregon coast could send a shot of rain across the area tonight with as much as .25 inches falling. The basin areas already have seen moderate amounts of .25 inches of rain or more since Sunday. This week’s rainfall has been needed for crop growth later in the spring, farmers said.

Tags: weather