January 7, 2010 in Idaho

Cold today; changes coming Friday

Weak Pacific system to start warmup Friday night
By The Spokesman-Review
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Cold, clear weather should continue for today with Friday having an initial surge of high clouds in advance of a weak Pacific storm system that could bring mixed precipitation to the region Friday night and Saturday.

Dry arctic air sliding southward along the east side of the Rockies continues to spill over the Inland Northwest with a dewpoint of 10 degrees this morning at Spokane International Airport and a wind chill of 6 degrees.

The wind chill is a calculation of the effect of a 10 mph wind combined with a temperature of 18 at the airport at 7 a.m.

Winds are forecasted to become calm as the day progresses.

The cold should continue today with highs across the region in the middle and upper 20s. Lows tonight are forecasted to drop to 11 to 15 degrees in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas with slightly colder temperatures to the north and warmer temperatures to the south and west.

An overrunning area of milder Pacific air is expected to move into the region on Friday, but cold air should stay close to the ground during the initial surge of moisture off the ocean.

National Weather Service forecasters are calling for a 50 percent chance of snow before 10 p.m. on Friday to be followed by snow and freezing rain after 10 p.m. Accumulations are pegged at less than a half-inch.

A 40 percent chance of freezing rain is possible until 10 a.m. Saturday before the milder air mixes down to the surface and ends the freezing conditions and leaves only rain.

Mostly cloudy conditions are expected Saturday night through Sunday night as the temperatures move from below normal for this time of year to well above normal.

Highs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to reach the low 40s in Spokane.

The average high for today is 32 and the average low is 21.

At 7 a.m., it was 18 at the Spokane airport, 17 in downtown Spokane, 16 in Coeur d’Alene and Deer Park and 23 in Pullman.

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