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Spokane’s winter now third snowiest

Tue., March 17, 2009, 7:30 a.m.

The hail-like snow that fell in Spokane on Monday pushed the season total to 89.4 inches, making the winter of 2008-2009 the third snowiest since record-keeping began in 1881.

The 0.4 inches of snow recorded at Spokane International Airport pushed the current season past the 89.0 inches that fell in 1974-1975.

This season now ranks behind 1949-1950 at 93.5 inches and last year at 92.6 inches.

Monday’s thunderstorm dropped a heavy type of snow known as graupel, which is formed when super-cooled droplets of water condense onto snowflake crystals in cloud formations that are more common locally in late winter.

Today, forecasters are calling for a chance of snow or rain showers with snow possible before 11 a.m. with the snow level rising to 2,800 feet in elevation by this afternoon. A high of 43 is expected in Spokane.

Snow was reported this morning in the Silver Valley of Shoshone County.

Temperatures are expected to warm through the rest of the week with highs in the 40s again Wednesday, but moving to the 50s for the first time this year on Thursday and Friday. Lows are expected in the 30s. A chance of precipitation is expected throughout the week.

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