January 7, 2014 in City

Inland Northwest set for winter storms this week

By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photoBuy this photo

Coeur d’Alene resident Jason Goebel pulled his ice fishing gear across the frozen surface of Fernan Lake on Monday in hopes of catching some trout or perch.
(Full-size photo)

A series of three winter storms are going to bring some needed new snow to the mountains of the Inland Northwest and a mix of snow and rain to lower elevations through this weekend.

Spokane might see less than an inch of snow today and tonight while North Idaho stands to collect 1 to 4 inches. Pockets of light freezing rain are possible in the Columbia Basin southwest of Spokane.

A more potent storm on Wednesday into Thursday should bring moderate to heavy snow to the mountains of the region with light to moderate snow in lower elevations. Spokane might get an inch of snow. North Idaho will see more, perhaps 3 inches plus in the mountains.

Freezing rain is possible in parts of the Columbia Basin from the second storm.

On Friday night and Saturday, the third storm arrives with milder air so that precipitation is likely to be rain at lower elevations and snow above 3,000 feet in the northern parts of the region and 6,000 feet in mountains to the south.

Forecasters said a foot or more of snow is possible in the Cascades and Inland Northwest mountains.

The region has a snow pack about 75 percent of normal. Spokane has seen less than half its normal precipitation since Oct. 1 with only 2.35 inches measured at Spokane International Airport since then. Normal precipitation for the period is 6.17 inches.

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