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Spokane

Snow returns to the mountains, but warmer weather will arrive by the weekend

UPDATED: Tue., May 16, 2017, 11:09 p.m.

“They really like Brazil nuts,” said Paul Anthony as he feeds a squirrel at City Park in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Anthony feeds the squirrels almost every day. “I helped them through this winter,” he added. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
“They really like Brazil nuts,” said Paul Anthony as he feeds a squirrel at City Park in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Anthony feeds the squirrels almost every day. “I helped them through this winter,” he added. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Fresh snow fell across the Cascades and Kettle Range on Tuesday and was headed into the North Idaho mountains overnight.

But forecasters said this late taste of winter is going bye-bye by Friday as a warmup arrives across the region.

Traffic cameras showed snow along the shoulder of Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass at an elevation of 3,022 feet Tuesday afternoon, but it was not sticking to the roadway.

Snow also was visible on traffic cameras at 5,575-foot Sherman Pass on state Highway 20, which is the highest pass in Washington.

In North Idaho, Fourth of July Summit, at 3,173 feet on I-90, showed wet conditions Tuesday afternoon.

East of there, Lookout Pass on I-90 at 4,725 feet in elevation was expected to get fresh snow into Wednesday morning.

“We are looking at a mid-May heavy snow event for the mountains,” said National Weather Service forecaster Greg Koch.

Any snow that falls on the highways should melt off fairly quickly, but icy conditions may envelop Lookout Pass on Wednesday morning, he said.

Mount Spokane had 5.5 inches of fresh snow Tuesday at the ski area, he said.

An upper-level area of low air pressure was delivering enough cold air to allow snow as low as 3,500 feet Tuesday night, Koch said.

A winter weather advisory for 3 to 6 inches of snow was in effect until 11 a.m. Wednesday for the central Idaho Panhandle.

Through midafternoon, Spokane International Airport reported 0.39 inches of rain.

Since Oct. 1, the airport has seen 22.25 inches of precipitation through Tuesday afternoon – the most precipitation on record for that period.

Wednesday and Thursday should bring scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms with highs in the lower 60s.

Higher air pressure will then move over the region, sending temperatures into the lower 70s on Friday and Saturday and to the upper 70s early next week.

Friday should be mostly sunny.

A fast-moving storm system could keep things damp on Saturday and Saturday evening with showers and thunderstorms.

The Armed Forces Torchlight Parade of the Lilac Festival on Saturday night could end up being a wet one depending on where the showers fall.

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center is calling for dry and warm conditions in the eight- to 14-day outlook.

If so, that could mean Memorial Day weekend weather will be conducive to outdoor activities.



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