Light amounts of snow today followed by rain and milder temperatures should help clear the skies around Spokane of a smoky layer of low-lying air.
About an inch is expected in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene today with highs near freezing.
The National Weather Service said it is ending an air stagnation advisory for the Spokane area and upper Columbia Basin at 10 a.m.
A ban on both indoor and outdoor burning was lifted this morning for the populated areas of Spokane County where pollution levels have fallen markedly since the ban went into effect. Outdoor burning was banned countywide.
The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency reported pollution levels at 56, which is just inside the moderate category, on the air quality index this morning. Wood smoke is the main pollutant.
Pollution officials said the ban would be lifted as soon as the stagnant air conditions come to an end.
Forecasters are calling for about an inch of snow today and another half inch of snow tonight in Spokane, which is down from forecasts of moderate amounts earlier this week.
But the surge of mild Pacific air today is going to be a mix of both moist and dry layers, inhibiting the growth of snowflakes later today and tonight, forecasters said in a morning website discussion.
Highs today and tonight should hit 31 in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene as the warm air scours out a cold layer trapped at lower elevations.
Any snow should change to rain after 10 p.m. and then a chance of rain continues on Thursday and Friday when highs go to the middle 30s.
A cold front Friday night could initially bring rain and then light snow amounts.
The cold front will start a cooling trend that could result in progressively deeper arctic cold over the region next week.
At 7 a.m., it was 22 a Spokane International Airport, 26 at Felts Field, 25 at Coeur d’Alene, 23 at Deer Park and 28 in Pullman.