Spokane has had chillier-than-average temperatures since early February, but warmer weather could arrive by the middle of March.
The first few days of March were far below normal and about half an inch of snow is predicted to cover the area Wednesday night into Thursday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Turner said. He said the area could warm up after March 16, just before the spring equinox.
“This is really the last gasp of winter,” he said. “We’re seeing some signs that cold stretch might break in the middle of March.”
Central Idaho and other rural areas have experienced extremely cold weather, with temperatures plummeting below zero. The rest of the area has experienced some of the coldest air of the season, with the Inland Northwest waking up to temperatures in the teens. Temperatures are expected to warm up slightly in the second half of the week, with highs in the 30s.
The cold weather has also prevented any melting which would cause a crust to form over the dry, fluffy snow, causing even light winds to form snowbanks on the roads, Turner said. Drivers are advised to be cautious in rural areas of Spokane and the Palouse, where untouched snow from the surrounding areas could blow and create large snowbanks on roads.
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