Snow risk increases by Wednesday a.m.
Today’s early morning sunshine didn’t last long as wintry weather creeps closer to the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas.
National Weather Service forecasters said that daytime temperatures will keep any precipitation later today in the form of rain, but as temperatures cool tonight, snow levels should fall to the plateaus and valleys of the region.
Snow has been falling this afternoon on Cascade mountain passes, but Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 remained bare and wet with snow visible next to travel lanes. Other locations along I-90 east of the pass also had snow in the grass along the freeway, including Bull Frog, East Cle Elum and Elk Heights.
The high today should reach 45 degrees in Spokane with a 20 percent chance of rain as a weak storm system moves east of the Cascades across the Columbia Basin.
With a low near freezing tonight, forecasters are calling for a 50 percent chance of rain changing over to snow. Less than a half inch could fall.
The snow level will go from 3,100 feet to 2,000 feet, which is the elevation of the lower South Hill, the top of Spokane’s North Hill and Spokane Valley in the vicinity of Argonne and Pines roads.
Spokane International Airport is at 2,372 feet.
The Spokane Regional Traffic Management Center is reminding motorists and commuters today that it has traffic cameras and an incident warning system to help drivers navigate roads during the winter. To take advantage of the information, go to srtmc.org/ or click on the street cameras link above.
A weak Pacific storm is approaching the Cascades of Washington, but is expected to slide to the south, carrying the bulk of its energy into Oregon.
Southeast Washington and the east slopes of the Cascades near Wenatchee could see greater snowfall amounts.
A winter weather advisory was posted for the portions of the Cascades and east slopes while a hazardous weather outlook is in effect for the Walla Walla to Lewiston areas along the Blue Mountains and Camas Prairie.
Fog may form Wednesday night and Thursday and a slight chance of rain arrives Thursday night and Friday. Highs will be in the middle 40s in Spokane through the week and near freezing at night.
Another chance of rain or snow arrives over the weekend.
At 7 a.m., it was 29 at the Spokane airport, 34 at Felts Field, 36 in Coeur d’Alene, 34 in Deer Park and 30 in Pullman.