The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory and said it expects snow to return to lower elevations tonight and early Thursday as a new storm system off the Pacific brings enough cold air to end the recent rainy spell.
The advisory is calling for 1 to 4 inches over most of the Inland Northwest lowlands with even higher amounts likely in the mountains starting about 10 p.m. today.
An inch or more of snow is possible in Spokane. The amount of snow expected was increased slightly in the latest afternoon forecast. Two to 4 inches could fall in the Coeur d’Alene area.
Higher amounts of snow are predicted for the Cascades and mountains of the central Idaho Panhandle. Locations closer to the Columbia Basin, including Spokane, will see lower amounts.
Forecasters are giving a 100 percent chance of snow in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene with the main band of snow arriving between 10 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Thursday.
“Confidence is also high that this storm will feature all snow at all elevations,” one forecaster said in a weather discussion posted on-line this afternoon at Spokane weather office .
The best chance for snow will be after 3 a.m. If that is correct, it could create trouble for the morning commute on Thursday.
The fast moving system off the Pacific is combining with a cold low pressure area in the upper atmosphere to cause a return to flaky conditions.
Southwest winds gusting to 32 mph are predicted for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Thursday.
The weather settles down over the weekend with partly sunny to mostly sunny weather on Friday through Sunday. Highs will range in the upper 30s with lows in the middle 20s.