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New snowfall likely in mountains

UPDATED: Mon., May 15, 2017, 11:30 p.m.

FILE – Mount Spokane in December 2003. (Steve  Thompson / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE – Mount Spokane in December 2003. (Steve Thompson / The Spokesman-Review)

Just when you thought winter was over, forecasters are calling for a blanket of new snow in the mountains.

A storm moving south along the British Columbia coastline was expected to make landfall late Monday and carry with it enough cold air to drop snow at elevations above 3,500 to 4,000 feet through Tuesday.

The National Weather Service on Monday issued a winter storm watch for the mountains of northeast Washington and North Idaho.

Forecasters said 4 to 8 inches are possible between 4,000 and 5,000 feet in elevation, with up to 2 feet at the highest elevations of the Bitterroot Mountains.

In addition, forecasters issued a flood watch for small creeks and streams due to runoff from rain below 4,000 feet.

The Okanogan River may rise into flood stage again by this weekend. The Moyie River will remain high but stay within its banks.

As part of the flood watch, forecasters said that exposed slopes could be vulnerable to giving way, especially in areas burned by wildfires in recent years.

Precipitation will fall as rain at lower elevations.

A half inch of rain or more is possible in most areas with more likely near and in the mountains.

Forecasters are calling for 0.68 inches of rain in Spokane and 0.71 inches in Coeur d’Alene. Some areas could see as much as 1.25 inches of precipitation.

Thunderstorms are possible Tuesday afternoon.

The high temperature on Tuesday may only make it to 52, which is 14 degrees below normal for the middle of May.

The snowpack in the mountains of the region was at 110 to 151 percent of normal for mid-May as of Monday.

The weather should start to warm up again later this week, with a high of 69 expected by Friday.

The eight- to 14-day outlook for the region is calling for warmer and drier than normal weather heading into Memorial Day, the weather service said.

Lows should remain above freezing in lower elevations.

Tags: snow, weather

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