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April snow coats parts of Inland NW

Thu., April 7, 2011, 7:40 a.m.

Snow pellets collect around a potted pansy Wednesday evening. (Mike Prager)
Snow pellets collect around a potted pansy Wednesday evening. (Mike Prager)

April snow showers keep falling across the Inland Northwest today after a series of strong snow and rain showers on Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service said the precipitation has been coating the ground in different locations as shower clouds build and move across the terrain. Small hail and reduced visibility are expected beneath the strongest storms.

Snow pellets known as “graupel” covered much of the region this morning after cold overnight temperatures kept precipitation from melting.

Spokane International Airport officially saw 0.2 inches of snow on Wednesday.

Snow was falling at dawn this morning in Coeur d’Alene with no more than an inch of accumulated snow pellets on the ground.

Parts of the far North Side had a white coating this morning as well. Lesser amounts fell in older neighborhoods on the North Side.

National Weather Service forecasters are calling for a 50 percent chance of scattered rain or snow showers through tonight.

Temperatures should approach the upper 40s today with lows tonight near 30.

Winds have eased off since Wednesday, and only light north winds are expected later today.

The region should see a break from the rain and snow on Friday and Saturday when sunshine and highs near 55 are possible.

Patchy fog is likely Friday morning and again on Friday night through Saturday morning.

The next chance of rain arrives on Sunday and Sunday night with more cool weather expected by Monday from yet another Pacific cold front.

Rivers in the region continue to run high with the St. Joe River at St. Maries falling just below flood stage at 32 feet on the local gauge. It is expected to slowly recede over the next several days.

At 3 p.m., it was 41 at the Spokane airport, well below the normal high of 55 for this time of year.

Tags: weather

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