Local news

Winter weather advisory in effect through 10 a.m.

Christmas Day holds slight chance of rain

A winter weather advisory was issued on Sunday for 2 to 4 inches of snow in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas through mid-morning today.

The National Weather Service said the snow was expected to fall throughout Sunday night and taper off after 10 this morning.

Heavier accumulations were expected to the south of Spokane in the Palouse region, where a winter storm warning was in effect for 3 to 5 inches of snow. The less-serious winter weather advisory was also in effect for Columbia Basin locations to the west and southwest of Spokane, including Ritzville, Odessa, Grand Coulee and Moses Lake.

Even greater accumulations were expected in mountain areas of the central Idaho Panhandle, where up to 9 inches of snow was possible.

Cool air across the region should keep the lowland snow in place through most of the week, although there is a slight chance of rain or snow on Christmas Day when the snow level rises to 2,100 feet. The high temperature on Friday is predicted to be 39 in Spokane and 38 in Coeur d’Alene, with a Christmas Day high of 41 in both cities.

Saturday’s snowfall turned Spokane-area roads into virtual ice rinks, with authorities saying hundreds of mostly minor auto accidents were reported across the region.

Accidents continued on icy streets Sunday night with one motorist being seriously injured when his Jeep Wrangler slid sideways while descending North Cedar Road from Five Mile Prairie. The Jeep was struck by a vehicle going up the hill, said police Cpl. Mike Carr.

Snow depth at the Spokane airport Sunday afternoon was 2 inches.

The chances that more than a trace of snow will fall on Christmas are 34 percent at the Spokane airport and 23 percent in Coeur d’Alene. The higher probability at the airport is due to the fact that observations are made there hourly as opposed to daily, the weather service said in a report on its website at www.wrh.noaa.gov/otx/.

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