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Snow to turn to rain by evening

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 24, 2012, 3:53 p.m.

Wind advisory issued for region from 1 a.m. to noon Wednesday

Snow is expected to change over to rain through 10 p.m. as an incoming Pacific storm brings milder air across the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. Freezing rain has been dropped from the forecast after temperatures rose to above freezing this afternoon.

A wind advisory takes effect for the urban areas, the Palouse region and Columbia Basin starting at 1 a.m. Gusts in some areas may reach 50 mph, but the forecast for Spokane is currently calling for steady winds to 20 mph Wednesday morning.

Snow started falling in downtown Spokane about 2:30 p.m. today. Temperatures were at 36 degrees at Spokane International Airport at the time, but dropped back to 32 by 4 p.m. Felts Field was at 34.

A light mist developed around 4:30 p.m. in downtown Spokane as conditions changed quickly.

On the West Plains, accumulating snow was evident on traffic cameras along Interstate 90 just after 5 p.m., making driving conditions there more hazardous.

Forecasters said snow or rain are possible through 10 p.m. before precipitation changes to all rain.

An incoming Pacific storm is carrying milder air with it, but cold air in place over the Inland Northwest could result in snow and a mix of precipitation for several hours across the broader region.

Deer Park still has a mix of precipitation in its forecast, including the chance of freezing rain.

A hazardous weather outlook is in place for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. A more serious winter weather advisory for snow is posted for areas to the north and west of the main urban areas.

The chance of precipitation over the area is 90 percent this afternoon with an 80 percent chance tonight.

Overnight temperatures should stay at about 36 degrees in Spokane and then increase on Wednesday to about 40.

A continuing chance of precipitation is seen for Wednesday and Thursday with a repeat of the changing types of precipitation. However, the Wednesday night storm will go from rain to snow and back to rain and snow through as temperatures cool overnight and then go back up on Thursday morning.

Drier weather settles over the region for the weekend and ends a string of winter storms over the past week or more.

Tags: snow, weather

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