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No fooling: snow falling from shower clouds today

Wind advisory issued for Friday afternoon, winter storm warning in mountains

April Fools’ Day is bringing another round of scattered snow and rain showers to the region, forecasters said.

Clouds have been building along the hills and mountains that ring the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas and are likely to drop a combination of snow, snow pellets, small hail or rain.

Forecasters said they have received at least one report of snow in the Spokane area today. They said it is the third day in a row that towering cumulus clouds have formed as warmer air near the ground rises into a colder layer of air aloft.

More snow may be on the way this weekend.

A new Pacific storm system is headed toward the Inland Northwest and should bring snow and rain on Friday along with another round of wind with gusts to 39 mph in Spokane by Friday afternoon.

A wind advisory for Friday has been issued for the Columbia Basin extending northward into the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas with the heaviest winds occurring between 4 and 8 p.m.

Snow in the lower elevations Friday is most likely along the eastern slopes of the Cascades and in valley areas north of U.S. 2 and the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow level in the Spokane area is expected to drop to 2,400 feet by Friday morning. Spokane International Airport is at 2,350 feet.

A winter storm watch has been upgraded to a winter storm warning for the mountains of Washington and North Idaho with 6 to 9 inches expected in the inland mountains. A winter storm watch remains in effect for 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Cascades.

The storm is expected to arrive in the Cascades at about 11 p.m. tonight and move eastward into the inland mountains by morning.

Rain or snow are expected in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas on Friday with any snow coming before 11 a.m. After that, there is a chance of rain or snow again Friday night and Saturday in the lower elevations of the region.

Weather should improve on Sunday, although forecasters are calling for a 20 percent chance of rain or snow showers. Highs should reach about 50 degrees.