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Snow showers, cold coming this weekend

Fri., March 6, 2009, 6:08 p.m.

Lingering winter weather is expected to continue across the region through the middle of next week as a new northern cold front drops southward across the Inland Northwest on Saturday, bringing with it a reinforcing shot of cold air and a likelihood of snow showers.

The low this morning was 23 degrees at Spokane International Airport, and clear skies from a northerly flow allowed the temperature to rebound only to 34 degrees.

A cold front and low-pressure system was moving southward from the Alaskan coast and should reach the Inland Northwest on Saturday afternoon, bringing a chance of snow across the region. Accumulations of about an inch are expected only in the northern portions of the region, including the cities of Deer Park, Colville, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry and Newport. Other areas will see only snow showers, but cold temperatures could allow the snow to linger on the ground, forecasters said.

Nighttime lows are expected to progressively get colder through early next week. Lows near 20 are forecast for tonight through Sunday night. Highs Monday might only reach the upper 20s while the low could drop to 12 both Monday and Tuesday nights under an air mass that originated in the arctic.

Saturday’s cold front should be accompanied by some winds to 25 mph.

Warmer temperatures are expected by Friday when the high is expected to approach the upper 40s and maybe even warmer.

The warming center program in Spokane ended on Feb. 28, so those facilities are not likely to open even if the temperature falls below the 15 degree threshold that was established last year for opening them. In Coeur d’Alene, officials were considering the possibility of opening a warming center there.

Normal temperature for March 6 in Spokane is 45 for a high and 29 for a low. So far this week, the city has seen 1.07 inches of precipitation, including 1.3 inches of snow. The season’s snowfall total is now 85.6 inches with most of it coming in a three-week period in late December and early January.

March is a time of wide swings in weather. The record high for March 6 in Spokane is 62 degrees in 1906 and the record low is 2 degrees in 1891.

Tags: weather

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