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No sunshine today; maybe snow Saturday a.m.

Fri., Nov. 12, 2010, 7:46 a.m.

The chance that the sun might come out this afternoon has passed as a heavy deck of low-hanging stratus covers the Spokane region, forecasters said.

Highs were struggling to get out of the 30s with a 2 p.m. temperature of 36 at Spokane International Airport, the same as at 7 a.m.

A dense fog advisory was in effect this morning for the Columbia Basin southwest of Spokane, including portions of Lincoln, Grant, Adams and Franklin counties earlier today. Basin areas cleared out from the fog and some sun was showing up on traffic cameras this afternoon.

A series of storms crossing the region brought light rain overnight to Spokane where 0.02 inches of rain was recorded at Spokane airport.

The storm has left snow on Lookout Pass on I-90, and forecasters said the snow may continue to fall today there as well as in the central Panhandle mountains from the front that passed through Spokane and Coeur d’Alene overnight.

Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 in the Cascades had snow alongside the roadway, but the pavement was clear.

Another quick-moving frontal band is expected on Saturday. Depending on the timing, the precipitation could fall as either snow or rain or a mix of the two.

In Spokane forecasters are calling for a slight chance of snow before 10 a.m. Saturday with the snow level rising to 2,200 feet in elevation after that. If snow falls, it would only amount to less than a half inch and with relatively warm ground temperatures, likely not cause problems on roadways.

There is a 60 percent chance of rain or snow in both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene with similar forecasts being given for other locations in the region.

The high in Spokane could reach 39.

Mid-autumn is a challenge for forecasters in predicting snow because slight variations in temperature, humidity and atmospheric lift can have an effect on whether precipitation is liquid or fozen.

After the storm passes, the region will see clouds and quiet weather until Monday when the chance of showers returns.

Temperatures will remain about the same with highs in the 40s and lows near 30.

At 7 a.m., it was 36 at the Spokane airport, 39 at Felts Field, 37 in Coeur d’Alene, 30 in Deer Park and 37 in Pullman.


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