October 26, 2009 in City, Idaho

Snow possible for lower elevations Tuesday

By The Spokesman-Review
First significant snow in mountains
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter in Washington with snow in the mountains and flooding rivers.

The National Weather Service expects the first significant snowfall of the season in Cascades. A winter storm warning is in effect through 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Forecasters say the freezing level will drop to 3,000 feet by Monday night leaving snow on Stevens, White, Washington and Snoqualmie passes with accumulations of 6 to 12 inches and up to 18 inches in places.

The cold front is bringing rain showers to the Western Washington lowlands. Forecasters have issued a warning for minor flooding on the Tolt River at Carnation for Monday evening.

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Snow levels are expected to drop from the mountains to the valley floors Tuesday morning, creating the possibility of the first snowfall of the season at lower elevations of the Inland Northwest.

Forecasters said Monday’s rain and wind storm is being followed by colder air off the Gulf of Alaska that is likely to bring snow showers to the mountains, and possibly to elevations as low as 1,900 feet this morning.

Downtown Spokane is at 1,880 feet; Spokane Valley at 2,000 feet and Coeur d’Alene at 2,200 feet.

Temperatures were expected to dip below freezing Tuesday morning with lows of 31 expected in Spokane and a 40 percent chance of rain or snow showers. Coeur d’Alene should be a bit warmer with the low reaching 35 with a 50 percent chance or rain or snow showers.

Winter storm warnings were posted Monday for the Cascades and mountains of the central Idaho Panhandle.

Snow returns to the forecast for lower elevations again Thursday morning when another Pacific storm system moves through the region Wednesday night and early Thursday.

Meteorologist John Livingston said it’s not clear whether any snow will accumulate, but it is not likely to cause driving problems.

Spokane International Airport had nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain through mid-afternoon Monday; Coeur d’Alene had nearly an inch.

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