January 3, 2011 in City, Idaho

Arctic chill continues, but with clouds

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

The clock tower in Riverfront Park is bathed in a warm light on a frigid afternoon on December 31, 2010 in Spokane, Wash. The arctic cold will likely hang around through much of the week.
(Full-size photo)

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NWS: Dec. 28-29 storm report

Arctic cold continues its grip on the Inland Northwest today, and will likely hang around through much of the week, the National Weather Service said.

Temperatures were in the teens this morning across the region, although Pullman was reporting minus-2 at the airport there at 7 a.m.

It was 15 at Spokane International Airport, 14 at Deer Park and 16 at Felts Field and Coeur d’Alene.

Forecasters said the stable air mass that is holding the cold air in place will likely continue at least through Wednesday.

Today’s high under cloudy skies should be 24 in downtown Spokane and 26 in Coeur d’Alene. Other locations will be a few degrees colder. Millwood will be closer to 20 and Mead is likely to see 21.

Tonight’s low will be another cold one with 8 degrees expected in Spokane.

The clear skies that dominated over the holiday weekend are going to end. The low stratus and fog layer typical of Inland Northwest winters is going to create gray and dull skies over much of the area.

Temperatures will rebound several degrees with the cloud layer.

Spokane airport was down to about 1 degree late Sunday night, and then went to about 12 degrees at 4 a.m.

A change in weather starting Tuesday may be seen in the Spokane area by Wednesday morning as a flow of air moves in from the Pacific, increasing the chance of snow. Up to 3 inches of snow are possible on Wednesday.

Highs above freezing are likely on Thursday and Friday. Snow may change to rain by Friday, but colder temperatures return over the weekend.

Milder air associated with the precipitation could lead to sleet or freezing rain on Wednesday night.

Temperatures are expected to rebound the seasonal normals with highs in the lower 30s and lows in the 20s.

Snow could be returning again on Friday and Saturday.

The National Weather Service in Spokane has posted a detailed explanation of last week’s snow storm that brought as much as 28.5 inches to Clark Fork in North Idaho and upwards 10 to 11 inches in Coeur d’Alene. In the Spokane area, 9 inches was widely reported.

Here is a link to the NWS Dec. 28-29 storm report.

Air stagnation has become a problem in the Pacific Northwest. The weather service issued an air stagnation advisory through Wednesday for the Tri-Cities, Yakima Valley and Pendleton areas.

Currently, several locations in Puget Sound are showing rising pollution levels mainly from wood smoke. Seattle and Tacoma currently have air quality in the unhealthy range for persons with respiratory problems.

Spokane’s air quality was moderately polluted today with an air quality rating of 87. The unhealthy range for persons with respiratory problems starts at 100.

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