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Mountain snow could reach lowlands over weekend

Calm skies today and early tomorrow should change over to a stormy weekend with snow possible in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Friday and Saturday nights, forecasters said.

A high of 51 is expected in Spokane today under mostly sunny skies with a low tonight of 28.

Friday should see a change to rainy conditions in the lower elevations and snow in the mountains.

Forecasters said snow could be heavy in the mountains along the Idaho-Montana border late Friday into early Saturday. A winter storm watch was issued for the mountains of North Idaho above 3,500 feet with up to 10 inches possible with Lookout Pass on Interstate 90.

Spokane and Coeur d’Alene could see some snow on Friday night, most likely mixed with rain with no accumulations. Saturday night also brings a chance of up to a half inch of snow before temperatures moderate and the storm winds down on Sunday.

Air pollution continues to be a problem today with the stagnant conditions brought by this week’s round of higher air pressure and cold temperatures at ground level.

The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency reported that smoke was the main pollutant, registering in the moderate category at 76 on the air quality index. A reading of 100 is considered the start of the unhealthful range.

Burning was being allowed today, however.

As a Pacific storm system arrives on Friday, it will kick up winds and start to clear out the smoky air.

Forecasters said they expect between a tenth and a quarter inch of rain on Friday with a high of 50.

The rain could change to snow Friday night when the low reaches 27. But the precipitation will be winding down so little to no accumulation is expected.

The cold front on Friday will lead to very cool weather Saturday with a high of 39.

Snow is possible Saturday night with a half inch of accumulation possible in Spokane.

The storm system starts to ease off on Sunday and highs rebound to the middle 40s. However, the forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of snow or rain changing over to rain on Sunday.

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