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Weather agency plans open house

Members of the public can get an inside look at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Spokane and the process of forecasting weather during an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The forecast office is at 2601 N. Rambo Road, which is a little more than three miles northwest of Airway Heights.

All of the high-tech equipment will be on display, and the weather staff will be giving an outlook for the coming winter, said meteorologist Ron Miller.

With La Niña predicted in the tropical Pacific later this year, forecasters are expecting a colder-than-normal and possibly snowy winter.

Recent snowy winters have been attributed to La Niña and near-La Niña events in those years.

During the open house, weather service staff will launch data-gathering balloons at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. In addition, special pilot weather balloons will be launched at least once an hour.

The public can learn about weather forecasting resources and climate records that are available on the Web. There will be a kids corner and a booth explaining the relationship between wildfires and weather.

The history of the weather service in Spokane will also be featured.

Weather staffers have designed the event to be a fun, educational experience.

To get to the office, go west on U.S. Highway 2 through Airway Heights and continue three-quarters of a mile to Rambo Road, which is at the northeastern corner of the Fairchild Air Force Base fence.

Go 2.5 miles north on Rambo Road to the office.

Look for the radar dome, visible from miles away.