March 12, 2012 in City, Idaho, Region

Wind advisory issued for Tuesday; more rain likely

Staff and wire reports

A wind advisory was issued for Tuesday for the Spokane area, parts of North Idaho and Columbia Basin as a series of storms batters the Inland Northwest.

Avalanche control at Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 closed the freeway earlier today while workers cleared slopes with hazardous amounts of snow.

Delays were also possible on U.S. Highway 2 at Stevens Pass where avalanche control was planned this afternoon.

In the Spokane area, wind gusts to 41 mph on Tuesday are pollice with even stonger gusts in the Columbia Basin.

Forecasters are calling for an easing of rain and snow by Tuesday night before another storm arrives Wednesday night and Thursday carrying potentially heavy rain at times. Precipitation is likely to linger over the region into the weekend.

Snow is piling up in the Cascades today.

Precipitation has moved into the Inland Northwest with rain in the lowlands and more snow in the mountains. A winter storm warning above 3,000 feet in elevation is in effect for Northeast Washington north of Deer Park and North Idaho north of Athol today.

Spring arrives next week, but this week still looks like winter in Washington.

The National Weather Service says a front moving through the state today is bringing strong winds and rain to Western Washington, heavy snow to the Cascades and snow in much of north-central and northeast Washington.

A winter storm warning is in effect for mountain areas and points north of Spokane. The Cascades could get up to 18 inches of snow today. Forecasters also expect significant snow in the northern portions of Eastern Washington. The Weather Service predicts more cool, showery weather through the week.

Forecasters warned of 30 to 45 mph winds with gusts to 65 this morning on the coast. Forecasters advised of 20 to 30 mph winds with gusts to 50 mph in parts of the interior of Western Washington.

In Spokane, the forecast today is for rain and snow between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., then rain after 2. The snow level is rising to 3,400 feet, and today’s high will be near 41.

Rain will continue into the night, but the temperature is expected to remain around 41.

On Tuesday, showers will continue, but the snow level will lower to 2,100 feet. The high is expected to be near 44.

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