The first serious winter-like weather of the season is expected to descend over the Inland Northwest this week, bringing rain, wind, cold and snow.
A pair of cold fronts will reverse the mild weather that has kept the Inland Northwest relatively balmy since Oct. 28.
A hard freeze is expected by Friday night and Saturday morning with an overnight low in Spokane of 23 degrees. The Saturday night low could be 21 degrees.
The National Weather Service is warning residents to make sure that any outdoor plumbing, including irrigation systems, be winterized prior to the weekend.
Some outlying areas could see temperatures in the upper teens.
Snow is expected in conjunction with a cold front on Thursday evening, but accumulation should be light in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. Less than a half inch is expected Thursday night in Spokane. Coeur d’Alene could get an inch.
Heavier snow is possible in the Idaho Panhandle south of Interstate 90, forecasters said. Southeast Washington, the Palouse region, Camas Prairie and the central Panhandle mountains could see heavier amounts.
In addition, cold, gusty winds are expected on Thursday afternoon and Friday.
But before the cold weather arrives, the region could see record-breaking highs today in the middle 60s. Spokane has a forecasted high of 64 today. Coeur d’Alene could see 65.
The record high for today is 61 in Spokane. The normal high is 46.
The first of the two cold fronts arrives tonight and will bring a 40 percent chance of rain to Spokane. The high on Wednesday will be about 50 before the colder air starts to arrive on Thursday and Friday. The high on Thursday should be about 45, with Friday only getting to 36.
High temperatures should moderate back to the lower 40s by Monday.