Temperatures were running about 5 degrees colder at dawn today than on Monday, and forecasters said they expect one more night of frigid weather.
At 7 a.m., it was 10 at Spokane International Airport, 11 at Felts Field, 9 in Coeur d’Alene, 7 in Deer Park and 13 in Pullman.
By 9 a.m., the temperature at the airport had only reached 14, but was at 20 at 11 a.m.
Today’s high should reach into the 20s with a light northeast wind.
Tonight’s lows may run from 8 to 11 degrees.
A lack of snow cover and milder air moving over the region in the upper altitudes should help temper the cold by Wednesday and Thursday with highs running into the 30s by Wednesday. Temperatures should go up several degrees each day.
The next threat of precipitation arrives on Thursday night through Sunday, when there will be a 20 to 30 percent chance of snow or even rain. Forecasters this afternoon said precipitation on Thursday nigh and Friday morning could fall as freezing rain, although the risk was pegged at only 20 percent.
A high-pressure system off the Pacific Ocean is moving eastward from the Oregon and Washington coasts today. With relatively warmer air aloft, there is a chance that cold air on the ground could become stagnant and polluted as that cold gets held down by the high air pressure.
Despite the current round of cold, dry weather, January ended at 1.9 degrees warmer than normal, with 2.43 inches of precipitation, or more than a half-inch more than normal.
Mountain snow packs as of Monday were running from 94 to 109 percent of normal in North Idaho and northeast Washington. The near-normal snow packs are occurring throughout the inland mountain areas.
The central Cascades where rivers provide water for Puget Sound residents are at only two-thirds of normal, in part because of a series of mild rain storms that prevented snow buildups and caused what snow was in the mountains to melt and flood into rivers.
Spokane city officials said that warming centers for homeless persons would be open again tonight.