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Dry forecast for holiday; snow returns next week

Thu., Dec. 23, 2010, 8:29 a.m.

After snowing late Wednesday afternoon, the weather pattern should stabilize enough for free sailing for both holiday travelers and a certain portly elf who reportedly drives a flying sleigh.

Both the Washington State Patrol and Idaho State Police reported wet highway conditions with some slick side roads, but both agencies had virtually no serious calls this morning as of about 7 a.m.

The National Weather Service said Spokane and Coeur d’Alene residents can expect dry conditions for the rest of today, Friday and into Christmas day, meteorologist Jeremy Wolf said.

“Overall we have a pretty quiet weather pattern over the weekend. The next chance for any precipitation isn’t until Sunday. We are looking for rain and snow likely in the Spokane area,” Wolf said. “But we do have highs in the mid- to upper 30s so we are not expecting any accumulation.”

But any families waiting until after Sunday to travel could find some adverse conditions as a system moves in from the northwest that should bring colder temperatures and several rounds of snow, he said.

Monday should bring a 40 percent chance of snow and that percentage will increase to 60 percent by Monday night. The same 60 percent figure for more snow is predicted for Tuesday and that number jumps to 70 percent on Wednesday, Wolf said.

“We are looking at much better potential for snow accumulations,” he said.

Wolf said it was too early to predict whether the system will dump the kind of snow that hit the region in late November.

“The pattern looks pretty active, so we could see several bouts with snow accumulation that could add up. We could see significant accumulations,” he said. “But how much snow is hard to say.”

The temperature was 30 degrees at 7 a.m. at the Spokane International Airport, which also reported patchy fog. It was 28 in Coeur d’Alene.

The high today should top out at 36 in the Lake City and 34 in Spokane. The lows tonight should be about 25 in Spokane and 28 in Coeur d’Alene, according to the National Weather Service.

Wolf said holiday commuters should be careful with water on the roadways because the low temperatures should drop enough to form ice on the highways.

Tags: snow, weather

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