December 27, 2011 in City, Idaho

Snow ending this morning, rain arrives tonight

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The inch or so of snow that accumulated in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas overnight isn’t likely to be sticking around for long.

At 7 a.m., temperatures were above freezing with Spokane International Airport reporting 33 degrees. Felts Field near Millwood was at 37 and Coeur d’Alene and Deer Park were 34.

Traffic was moving well without serious accidents. Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 in the Cascades was bare and wet with some slush and a temperature of 33. Lookout Pass on I-90 has snow and ice.

Radar shows that precipitation has moved mainly into North Idaho with some lingering showers across far Eastern Washington. Coeur d’Alene was seeing a wintry mix.

National Weather forecasters said snow should end by 10 a.m. in the Spokane urban area with the high climbing to 41.

Snow levels initially will rise to 3,400 feet.

Milder air flood across the Columbia Basin today ahead of the first in a series of rain storms for lower elevations and snow storms for higher elevations. Snow levels could go to 5,000 feet by Wednesday, forecasters said.

Most of tonight’s rain will fall before 4 a.m. The overnight low may only get to 37 to be followed by a high of 45 on Wednesday.

Chances of rain continue on Thursday and Friday, ensuring that the region will get a soaking to make up for several weeks of dry weather since Thanksgiving. Higher mountain snow pack should build as well.

Spokane could see nearly an inch of precipitation, mostly as rain, by Saturday. Because the ground is frozen across the region, the rain and snow melt could result in ponding since it won’t be able to soak into the ground easily.

Forecasters are starting to have concerns about possible flooding in some locales. Flower Creek in Libby, Mont., is frozen and could flood if heavy rains cause it to swell with water and ice with a potential for ice jams.

Forecasters are also watching for problems in the southern Cascades, Blue Mountains and central Panhandle mountains. They issued hydrologic outlooks for the possibility of ice jams and minor flooding in those areas.


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