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A taste of winter arrives for weekend

Fri., Oct. 9, 2009, 7:40 a.m.

Advisories issued for wind, dust, cold

Blowing dust was reported in Grant County on Friday, and cold temperatures were swept into the Inland Northwest on an arctic front that has set the stage for several of cold nights.

The afternoon temperature on Friday in Spokane was 43 degrees, which would have set a record for the coldest maximum for the date, except that it was 48 degrees at midnight at Spokane International Airport.

Forecasted lows before dawn Saturday morning were expected to be 19 degrees in Spokane and 17 degrees in Coeur d’Alene. The records for Saturday are 25 in Spokane and 27 in Coeur d’Alene.

Lows could drop an additional two degrees on Sunday morning, and continue in the upper teens on Monday morning before a warming trend begins, the National Weather Service said.

But highs Saturday and Sunday should only reach the upper 30s to lower 40s as the arctic air continues to hold its place.

By the time precipitation arrives from the west on Tuesday night, the lower atmosphere should have warmed enough to eliminate the risk for snow in lower elevations of the region, said forecaster Jon Fox.

While the wind speeds are not especially high, they were expected to be enough to stir up agricultural dust in dryland farm areas west and southwest of Spokane.

Winds from the north last Sunday closed a section of Interstate 90 west of Ritzville because of reduced visibility from blowing dust.

The National Weather Service has a series of advisories in effect for the region. They are a hazardous weather outlook for gusty winds and unseasonable cold, a dust storm warning in parts of the upper basin, a blowing dust advisory for south central Washington and a freeze warning for growing regions along the Columbia, Yakima, Snake and Walla Walla rivers.

At 7 a.m. Friday, temperatures were 34 at Spokane International Airport, 35 at Felts Field, 32 in Coeur d’Alene, 32 in Sandpoint, 31 in Deer Park and 37 in Pullman.

North winds were gusting to 30 mph in Sandpoint this morning. Just before dawn, northeast gusts at the Coeur d’Alene Airport reached 24 mph. Warden along I-90 east of Moses Lake had northwest gusts to 21 mph.

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