The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a winter storm warning for Eastern Washington and North Idaho with up to 9 inches of snow expected in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.
The winter storm watch is in effect north of Lewiston and it includes central Washington.
Today’s weather continues to be cold with arctic air flowing southward from Canada. Highs today under sunny skies should reach the lower 20s, but tonight’s low may drop to near zero.
The Weather Service is predicting a low of 2 at Spokane International Airport.
Temperatures should rebound later in the week as a flow of moist Pacific air overruns the region, initially bringing heavy snow, but then a mix of snow and rain turning to all rain by Thursday.
Snowfall amounts are expected to reach a foot in Deer Park, Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry where the higher terrain will add to the atmospheric lift and snow formation in the storm.
Lower amounts are expected in the Columbia Basin.
Highs on Thursday and Friday should be in the upper 30s to lower 40s with lows Thursday night staying just above freezing.
A series of storms on Thursday through the weekend are likely to bring more rain with temperatures well above freezing.
Forecaster Greg Koch said rain will begin melting snow at lower and middle elevations and push up flows on several rivers, including the Coeur d’Alene, St. Joe and Clearwater.
Highs in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene should reach the lower 40s on Friday through Sunday.
The milder temperatures could unleash ponding along roads and in urban areas and bring up flows on small creeks, forecasters said.
At 7 a.m., it was 11 at Spokane International Airport, 12 at Felts Field, 10 in Coeur d’Alene, 8 in Deer Park and 9 in Pullman.
With the cold weather tonight two warming centers in Spokane are being activated. The House of Charity at 32 W. Pacific Ave. will open for single men and the Salvation Army at 222 E. Indiana Ave. will open for couples and families. Both will open at 8 p.m.