Hazardous weather outlook for snow tonight

Light snow is being forecast for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas tonight as a new Pacific storm system moves into the area, and there is a chance that snow could resume Tuesday night.

Less than an inch of snow may fall in Spokane while up to an inch is expected in Coeur d’Alene.

On Tuesday, heavy snow is forecast for the mountains of North Idaho.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a hazardous weather outlook for most of Eastern Washington and parts of North Idaho, including Coeur d’Alene, for snow tonight and Tuesday night.

A more serious winter storm watch was issued for other areas of North Idaho, including Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry and Shoshone County for 2 to 6 inches of snow in valley areas and as much as 14 inches in the mountains on Tuesday night.

Snow levels in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene tonight are expected to be about 1,900 feet in elevation. Downtown Spokane is at 1,900 feet while most other areas of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are at or above 2,000 feet.

Any accumulation in the two cities is expected on grassy areas only and not on roadways.

The chance of rain or snow continues through the day Wednesday before the region gets a two-day break in storms before precipitation returns on Friday.

Highs in Spokane are expected to be in the 40s throughout the week. Lows will run from the 30s tonight and Tuesday night, cooling to the 20s on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Precipitation in the mountains is keeping season’s snow pack at near normal to slightly below normal for this time of year. The mountains that feed Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River are at 84 percent of normal. Other mountains in the region have similar snow packs. However, the Blue Mountains in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon are at 94 percent of normal

Rainfall in Spokane over the weekend pushed the season total to above normal since Oct. 1 as a wet and snowy March continues.

The city has seen 10.3 inches of rain or melted snow since then compared to an average of just under 10 inches for the period. A total .37 inches was measured at Spokane International Airport on Saturday and Sunday.

The month of March has had 2 inches of precipitation so far, or about .89 inches above normal for the month. The total includes the water content in 5.1 inches of snow.

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