Light snow to fall overnight
A second wave of snowfall is expected over Eastern Washington late tonight and early Thursday during the morning commute, forecasters said this afternoon.
Less than a half inch is expected tonight, and less than a half inch could follow around dawn from a pair of small storm impulses circulating off a large low pressure area off the Pacific coast.
The snow should fall east of a line from Republic to Pullman. Unlike this morning, temperatures may be cold enough to allow the snow to stick to driving surfaces.
The forecasted snow comes after as much as 2 to 3 inches fell in lower elevations on Thursday morning at the end of a night that had mostly brought rain. Spokane saw nearly a half inch of precipitation from the storm ending this morning.
Snow did not cause any significant traffic problems this morning on major highways where cameras show vehicles moving well with the exception of mountain passes where compact snow and ice were reported, including Snoqualmie and Lookout passes on Interstate 90.
The heaviest snow was on Spokane’s South Side and southward to Pullman. Nearly four inches fell just southeast of Spokane, according to one report, and nearly three inches was reported in Cheney.
The National Weather Service lifted a winter weather advisory this morning in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas.
The weather service warned that an arctic front is moving into the region this weekend and could pack some gusty winds as it sends temperatures plummeting to near record levels.
Getting any wet snow or slush off sidewalks and driveways this weekend will be critical in preventing the formation of treacherous black ice. However, forecasters expect a short dry spell on Saturday night and Sunday before the coldest air arrives. Light snow is possible again on Monday.
Temperatures may plunge to the single digits by Tuesday night.
Once the cold air arrives, the region’s weather may quiet down under a system of marginally higher air pressure through the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to a computer forecast model. Forecasters have chances of snow in the 20 percent range Tuesday through Thursday.
Under the forecast model, the next Pacific storm following the arctic outbreak won’t arrive until Nov. 28 or later.
Forecasters are calling for a 60 percent chance of snow showers tonight with a low of 30 and a 60 percent chance before 10 a.m. on Friday. The high on Friday is expected to be 38 in downtown Spokane.
The chances of snow drop later on Friday through Sunday with a 20 percent chance on Friday night and Saturday to be followed by cloudy skies on Saturday night and Sunday.
The next chance of snow comes on Sunday night and Monday at 50 to 60 percent.
During those days, highs will drop into the 20s with lows in the teens. By Monday night, the low could go to 10 with a high on Tuesday of about 14. Temperatures are expected to bottom out in Spokane at 5 on Tuesday night with colder temperatures possible in other locations around the region.
Temperatures moderate slightly on Wednesday through the holiday.