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Heavy snow possible in northern Wash.

Wed., Nov. 18, 2009, 2:18 p.m.

Advisory, warning posted for counties bordering B.C.

The National Weather Service today has issued a winter weather advisory and warning for Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and far northern portions of Spokane counties.

The warnings come as Eastern Washington and North Idaho are getting a break today in the parade of Pacific storm systems that have been bringing wind, rain and snow to the region this month.

Sun has been shining around clouds across the the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene today with temperatures reaching the lower 40s. Lows tonight should be in the middle 30s.

The next in the continuing series of storms moves into Western Washington tonight and pushes a moist air into the Inland Northwest.

Precipitation with the storm could bring heavy snowfall in the central and northern portions of the Washington Cascades tonight and Thursday as well as a potential for flooding along the Naches River in south-central Washington.

A winter storm warning was posted for Ferry County and the higher elevations of Okanogan and Chelan counties from 10 p.m. tonight through 4 p.m. Thursday where 4 to 8 inches of snow could fall.

A winter weather advisory for 2 to 5 inches was in effect during the same period for all of Stevens and Pend Oreille counties and lower elevations in Okanogan and Chelan counties. The snow could extend into Douglas County adjacent to the Columbia River, forecasters said.

Snowfall levels tonight could drop to 2,000 feet and then rise to 3,000 feet on Thursday as warmer air sweeps into the region ahead of the main band of the storm system that arrives Friday.

Six to 10 inches of snow is forecasted for tonight in the central Cascades above 2,500 feet, which is below the 3,000-foot summit of Snoqualmie Pass. A winter storm warning was posted today for the northern and central Cascades through 4 p.m. Thursday with 1 to 2 feet possible. As much as 3 feet could fall in the northern Cascades and slopes of the Cascades volcanoes.

The incoming storm is expected to slow its eastward progress on Thursday as a branch of wet weather migrates southward into California, forecasters said this morning.

It will set up a south-to-north air flow which will create milder conditions across much of the area east of the Cascades and raise snow levels on Thursday.

Snow levels in Northeast Washington and North Idaho are expected to rise to 4,500 feet on Thursday and fall back to 4,000 feet on Friday.

In the central Panhandle mountains of Idaho, the snow level goes from 4,500 feet Thursday to 5,000 feet on Friday.

In lower elevations, the greatest chance of rain comes Friday and Friday night as the storm’s cold front moves through the region. Snow is possible on Saturday night and Sunday with colder air following the front.

Despite a series of storms this month, Spokane has seen only .35 inches of precipitation, which is well below the monthly normal of 1.2 inches through Nov. 17.

At 7 a.m., temperatures were 32 at Spokane International Airport, 34 in downtown Spokane, 34 in Coeur d’Alene, 39 in Sandpoint, 29 in Deer Park and 31 in Pullman.

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