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Winter weather advisory in effect locally

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 16, 2011, 4:17 p.m.

Polluted air hangs over Spokane during calm weather as seen in this view from Mount St. Michael last week. (Mike Prager)
Polluted air hangs over Spokane during calm weather as seen in this view from Mount St. Michael last week. (Mike Prager)

Snoqualmie Pass could see 2 to 3 feet of snow by Thursday night

A winter weather advisory was posted for this afternoon and evening for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas while a more serious winter storm warning was in effect for areas in the mountains.

A vigorous Pacific storm is approaching the region late this afternoon with radar showing the snowfall crossing the Columbia Basin and entering the northern mountains at 4 p.m.

The latest forecast by the National Weather Service calls for one inch late this afternoon and possibly as much as 3 inches before the snow changes to rain about 7 p.m.

Cold air near the ground this morning is going to be scoured away by the storm and replaced by milder Pacific air associated with a warm front embedded in the circulation. A high of 41 is likely on Thursday in Spokane.

A trailing cold front will put an end to the snow and rain and then kick up winds with gusts to 25 mph in Spokane after the precipitation ends. Outlying and exposed areas could see gusts to 40 mph.

Even more snow is possible on Thursday night and Friday when the high barely gets to freezing. A solid freeze is possible over the weekend with temperatures below freezing Saturday and Sunday. The cold could be followed by another shot of precipitation on Monday.

To the west today, snow will begin falling as early as 11 a.m. along the east slopes of the Cascades as the storm makes its way eastward. Snow could be heavy on the east slopes where cold morning air from the Columbia Basin will get caught against the mountains, forecasters said

Areas to the north and east of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene around the mountains and valleys of Northeast Washington and North Idaho could see even more snow.

Three to 6 inches is possible in valleys of those areas while up to a foot of snow could fall in the mountains of the region.

The Palouse region should only see light amounts of snow, in some places less than an inch.

The Cascades could be slammed with 2 to 3 feet of snow possible by Thursday night.

Tags: snow, weather

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