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Cold, quiet weather ending Tuesday

Another relatively quiet weather day is in store for the Inland Northwest before more storm systems renew the trend of heavy precipitation seen in recent weeks.

Milder temperatures are also likely, and may offer a chance to melt off some of the packed ice that’s formed around the region.

National Weather Service forecasters said that skies today will be mostly cloudy, although dawn broke clear in the Spokane area. A high of 30 is expected in Spokane and 31 in Coeur d’Alene.

Fog has settled in across the Palouse.

Forecasters are calling for a mix of rain, snow and freezing rain starting on Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday when the high goes to 41.

A moist system drawing mild air from the southwest is going to overrun the cold air near the ground, which may cause ice to build up until the storm can push away the cold air.

The high on Tuesday is expected to reach 34 with a low at 32 to be followed by a high of 41 in Spokane on Wednesday.

The chances of rain or snow continue at 60 percent on Wednesday night through Friday with highs in the middle and upper 30s and lows in the middle to lower 30s.

A winter storm watch was in effect this morning for north-central and northeastern Washington while a hazardous weather outlook was in effect for Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and most of the Columbia Basin.

Southeast winds in the Palouse on Tuesday should help scour out cold air there, reducing any threat of freezing precipitation.

The 26.6 inches of snow in Spokane so far is 17 inches more than normal by Dec. 6.

The sun sets in Spokane today at its earliest time of the year at 3:58 p.m. The latest sunrise doesn’t come until Dec. 27.

At 7 a.m., it was 18 at Spokane International Airport, 20 at Felts Field, 23 in Coeur d’Alene, 22 in Deer Park and 28 in Pullman.

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