Slush hardens to ice; freeze stays through weekend

FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 2010, 7:52 A.M.

Freezing temperatures overnight have changed residential streets from impenetrable slush to rugged ice.

Deep ruts continued to trouble drivers, but the firmer conditions made navigating the rubble easier in most cases.

Plow crews were working to move the icy mess to the sides of streets, but the effort was expected to take several days. In Spokane, city officials said they anticipated four more days of work clearing side streets.

Forecasters said the colder conditions are going to continue through the weekend with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens to 20s.

The main weather threat has changed from snow and ice to fog for the next few days. A dense fog advisory was lifted late this morning in the upper Columbia Basin, Spokane region and Okanogan Valley, but the fog is likely to return at night.

Visibility at Spokane International Airport was down to an eighth mile earlier this morning.

A freezing fog advisory was in effect for the lower Columbia Basin.

A 20 percent chance of snow returns to the forecast on Sunday night through Monday night. Snow becomes more likely on Tuesday and Wednesday when the chances go to 40 percent. Temperatures should rise early next week with highs going from the 20s to the middle 30s.

The moderating temperatures could bring another chance to clear hardened ice from driveways and sidewalks.

Snow levels on Tuesday and Wednesday will be about 2,000 feet with highs in the lower 30s and lows in the upper 20s.

At 7 a.m., it was 23 and foggy at Spokane International Airport, 28 at Felts Field, Pullman and Coeur d’Alene and 27 in Deer Park.

Tags: snow, weather

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