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Snow level dropping overnight

Mon., Jan. 4, 2010, 7:27 a.m.

Snow falling north of Spokane, also at higher elevations

Wet weather today could give way to a lowering snow level tonight from a Pacific storm system that was initially drawing moisture from subtropical latitudes.

The lower elevations in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas were expected to see rain today and rain and snow tonight and Tuesday morning with a snow level dropping to 2,100 feet overnight.

Snow is being forecasted for higher elevations and the valleys of Northeast Washington and North Idaho.

The National Weather Service said snow was falling above about 2,500 feet in elevation this afternoon. Snow was reported at the National Weather Service office northwest of Airway Heights. Rain and snow were reported at Spokane International Airport at 2,372 feet in elevation. Snow was also falling to the north of Spokane and along the east side of the Cascades.

Snow was falling at Colville, Wenatchee, Sherman Pass, Metaline Falls and the U.S. Highway 395 summit east of Loon Lake.

“It has potential to be kind of messy,” said John Livingston, forecaster for the weather service in Spokane.

A winter storm warning has been posted for Northeast Washington from Deer Park northward and North Idaho east and north of Coeur d’Alene through 10 a.m. Tuesday. Up to a foot or more of snow is expected at Lookout Pass on Interstate 90.

An inch or two of snow could fall in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene tonight at higher elevations of the urban areas. Coeur d’Alene is at 2,200 feet elevation. Felts Field is at 1,952 feet.

Traffic was moving across Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 this afternoon where snow and slush were on the pavement and the temperature was 32. Snow and icy patches were reported on Lookout Pass in North Idaho. Fourth of July Summit was mostly clear.

Milder air in the lower elevations and to the south of Spokane will continue through the day Tuesday, but a cooling trend is expected by Tuesday night.

Highs today and Tuesday should reach the middle 30s. Tonight’s low should remain above freezing in the middle 30s as the mild Pacific air continues to flood across the region.

Colder and drier air follows the storm on Tuesday night with a low in the 20s. Sunny weather is likely on Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s and lows in the teens to lower 20s.

Spokane could see a low of 13 on Thursday morning, forecasters said.

At 7 a.m., it was 34 at Spokane International Airport, 36 in downtown Spokane, 34 in Coeur d’Alene, 35 in Deer Park and 36 in Pullman.

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