The National Weather Service this afternoon extended a winter storm warning for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area and other parts of the Inland Northwest from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight.
A blizzard warning in the Palouse was also extended to 10 p.m.
The heaviest snow has ended, they said, but some accumulations are expected into the evening.
The frequency of traffic accidents has increased about 3:30 p.m. as roadways turn to ice.
A multiple-vehicle accident was blocking all but one lane of westbound traffic near the Latah Bridge on Interstate 90 just west of downtown at 3:30 p.m.
The Argonne Road hill was closed to northbound traffic after a semi truck was unable to make it to the top and began sliding backwards late this afternoon. The hill was the subject of much slipping and sliding today as cars and trucks attempted to navigate it.
On U.S. Highway 195 at Davis Road near Spangle, a two-vehicle injury accident was blocking southbound traffic.
Temperatures at 3 p.m. were in the upper 20s at local reporting stations.
Forecasters this morning said that some parts of the region could see snowfall in the range of 7 to 12 inches from a persistent storm that is considered unusual for this region.
The National Weather Service reported about 10 inches of snow in Coeur d’Alene at 4 p.m. About 7 inches had fallen in Airway Heights by that time.
Lower elevations of the metropolitan area, including downtown, had less snowfall. Temperatures in the early morning hours hovered at or above freezing, allowing nighttime rain to fall for a longer period of time.
The city of Spokane declared a stage-2 snow emergency, in which crews will work 24 hours a day until they complete a full city plow and private crews are called in to help.
Arctic air is expected on Thursday through the weekend with lows close to or below zero and highs in the teens.