Snowfall totals impressive, but not record breaking
Six to 10 inches of snow fell across the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas by the time Wednesday’s stubborn storm subsided.
Cold air is now replacing the rain and snow regime that ended with a crushing storm on Wednesday.
Lows tonight are expected to drop to near zero. The high today may reach the middle 20s.
The official snowfall total at Spokane International Airport was 8 inches from late Tuesday through Wednesday evening.
Of that amount, 7.1 inches fell on Wednesday, which was just shy of the daily record of 8.3 inches.
Other locations had seriously impressive totals. Two reports from the Clark Fork area of North Idaho were above two feet. One report was 25.5 inches and the other was 26 inches.
A report from four miles north of Coeur d’Alene had 10.1 inches.
A National Weather Service employee reported 9 inches fell in Spokane Valley.
Reports from the Newport area, Airway Heights and Kellogg had 8 inches.
One spot near Garland Avenue on the North Hill in Spokane logged in with just under 7 inches.
Drifting snow closed roads in Grant County north of Wilson Creek today, but crews were working to reopen them.
A concentration of moist air in the middle atmosphere stalled over the region on Wednesday, causing snow to keep falling. The parent low pressure area that created the band of snow has moved to the southeast now, leaving the Inland Northwest under a cold northerly flow.
The arctic air now spilling into the region is not as intense as the cold outbreak that occurred before Thanksgiving.
However, snow on the ground and clear skies will allow nighttime temperatures to fall to zero degrees or a few degrees below zero for the next two nights.
Highs today may reach 24 in Spokane with zero tonight and 16 degrees on Friday.
New Year’s morning could see a low of minus-2 degrees with temperatures over the rest of the weekend moderating several degrees each day.
Sunny skies are likely on Friday through Monday.
Snow may return to the region by the middle of next week.
The city of Spokane on Wednesday declared a stage 2 snow emergency, which means that all streets will be plowed.
Here is the latest from City Hall: the city has 57 pieces of snow removal equipment out, including 19 teams of plows and graders working in the neighborhoods. The city added private contractors to the effort yesterday. Teams are working in residential snow plow routes 5, 20, and 24 on the South Side and routes 8 and 23 on the North Side. They’ll move to route 9 next. Crews have completed work in residential hill routes 21, 22, and 23.
At 7 a.m., it was 17 at Spokane International Airport, Deer Park and Pullman and 19 at Felts Field and Coeur d’Alene.