A winter weather advisory for 2 to 4 inches of snow beginning at 4 a.m. on Thursday in the Spokane area was issued today by the National Weather Service, and forecasters said even heavier snow could fall in North Idaho.
The advisory was accompanied by a winter storm warning for North Idaho for deeper snow. About 5 inches is expected in Coeur d’Alene while a foot or more could fall in the Silver Valley of Shoshone County.
The winter storm warning was in effect for nearly all of North Idaho and the mountainous areas of Stevens, Pend Oreille and northern Spokane counties in Washington.
As much as 15 inches of snow could come to the mountains where winter snowpacks earlier this week were about three-quarters of the normal amount for early March.
Warming daytime temperatures should allow the snow to melt quickly off roadways. A high of 36 is expected in Spokane.
Thursday’s expected storm comes after a strong rain and thunderstorm Tuesday moved across the Columbia Basin farming areas and extended into Spokane and North Idaho, a disturbance connected with a broad storm system that moved south of the area through Oregon Tuesday night.
It caused some impressive rainfall amounts across the normally dry Columbia Basin, including .80 inches in Ritzville, .60 inches in Reardan, .80 inches in East Wenatchee and .40 inches in Royal City. Farmers said they need the rain now for dryland crops this summer.
A cold front moving south out of British Columbia is expected to bring the snow along with a drop in temperatures through the weekend. Lows Thursday night could fall to the low 20s and then to the teens Friday night.
Otherwise, temperatures will vary between the mid-30s and lower 20s through the weekend. A 30- to 40-percent chance of snow is forecast for Spokane on Saturday, and more cold air on Sunday with a low of 17. Highs should reach the low- to mid-30s through the weekend.