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Sun sure to shine today

Wed., Dec. 21, 2011, 7:21 a.m.

The extended days of low fog and clouds have ended for today with a crisp morning and sliver of waning moon in the morning sky.

Forecasters are calling for a high near 30 under mostly sunny skies with calm winds. Winter starts at 9:30 p.m.

Sun is also likely to appear on Thursday and Friday despite a chance of overnight fog tonight.

A weak weather system that brought a dusting of snow to Spokane and maybe an inch of snow to Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday night is also drawing dry air southward to end the ongoing clouds and fog that have been hanging around for much of the past two weeks or more.

Temperatures are also trending downward with highs near 30 and lows in the teens for the next two nights and then middle 20s at the end of the week.

Clouds begin to build on Saturday as the Pacific storm track edges toward the West Coast. An initial wave could send some snow into the Cascades and create a hazard for cross-state travel. A second pulse later on Sunday into Monday has an even higher likelihood of snow, forecasters said.

Snow could spill into the mountain passes through the holidays, but timing and amounts are not clear.

For now, Spokane has a 20 percent chance of snow on Christmas, which is an indication that any accumulation should be on the light side. Forecasters said it is not yet clear how much effect the storms will have in the lower elevations of the Columbia Basin and Spokane region.

Increasing chances of snow are likely next week starting about Tuesday. The Pacific storm track is likely to erode a persistent ridge of higher pressure that has dominated weather along the West Coast for much of the past month, forecasters said

One computer model shows a chance for strong winter storms next week, but at a week out, there are questions about the reliability of that forecast.

At 8 a.m., it was 26 at Spokane International Airport.

Tags: weather

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