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Region gets first taste of winter

Sun., Nov. 13, 2011, midnight

Many areas in the Inland Northwest saw winter’s first flurries of snow Saturday.

The Spokane area saw a rain and snow mix Saturday with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation above 2,000 feet. The downtown area is at 1,900 feet.

Today will offer a break in precipitation; conditions are expected to be partly sunny with a high near 46 degrees. However, there is a chance of snow after 10 p.m. at 1,900 feet and conditions will likely be mostly cloudy with a nighttime low around 31 degrees.

Monday, there is a slight chance of snow before 10 a.m., with little to no accumulation. The snow level will be about 2,600 feet and conditions will be mostly cloudy with a high near 44 degrees. Lows Monday night could dip into the upper 20s.

“We’ll have a warmer system coming in Wednesday that should raise snow levels,” said meteorologist Steve Bodnar of the National Weather Service in Spokane. “We should probably see more rain in Spokane than snow. But we are expecting a big pattern change by next weekend which will bring … much cooler temperatures and a potential for snow.”

However, he said, “There’s a lot of uncertainty exactly where the snow is going to fall.”

He said temperatures are about average for this time of year.

Coeur d’Alene saw up to an inch of snow accumulation Saturday. Today is expected to be mostly cloudy with highs in the lower to mid-40s and nighttime lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s. There is a 40 percent chance of snow overnight.

Travel over mountain passes in Washington and Idaho could be dangerous today, after snowfalls on Saturday night.

According to a Washington State Patrol dispatcher, there were a few slide-offs in the Spokane area Saturday but no major collisions. An Idaho State Police dispatcher said, “We were awfully busy there for a couple hours,” but didn’t know the exact number of collisions resulting from the winter weather.

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