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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Spokane region snowpack 22 percent of normal

RIVERS — Washington’s winter snowpack set a record low for the month of April, making way for low water supplies and perhaps more devastating wildfires later this year, the Associated Press reports.  

The Natural Resources Conservation Service says the April 1 report found the statewide winter snowpack at only 22 percent of normal, shattering the previous record of 33 percent of normal set in 2005.  

The Cedar River basin was snow free, followed closely by the Olympics at only 3 percent of the 30-year median for April 1. That’s the lowest ever recorded in both basins.  

The Methow River Basin reported the highest at 79 percent of normal for April 1.  

Western Washington basins were 44 percent of normal.  

Snowpack along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range was 24 percent of normal.   

When having lived here isn’t enough

I was riding my bike up Adams Saturday morning when I saw a friend walking toward his job at the downtown library.

As always, I asked about his daughter. My wife and I have known her since she was an infant 25 years ago.

He updated me and I was pleased but certainly not surprised to hear that she is doing well.

One thing, though.

She lives in Wisconsin now. Before this winter, she had thought growing up in Spokane and then going to college in Missoula had prepared her to deal with whatever winter dished out.

Guess again.

In parts of the Midwest, the winter of 2013-14 bordered on surreal.

What reports did you receive from friends and relatives back there?

In the spirit of the season

I just told a colleague I would bet her mother $20 that one of her recollections of a certain Spokane winter are wrong.

Palouse Falls stunning at 10 degrees

STATE PARKS — Jon Jonckers of Spokane found stunning contrasts at Palouse Falls State Park as mist from the 185-foot waterfall froze on the surrounding cliffs in the 10-degree temperatures on Saturday. 

A ride home complete with commentary

The personality-plus guy driving the STA bus I took to go home this afternoon provided a running play-by-play on the snowy trip.

It was pretty entertaining.

Maybe that's because it wasn't just one long harangue. Sure, he questioned the thinking abilities of some pedestrians who stepped in front of the bus as he was about to pull out and go through a green light to start our journey. And, yes, he did suggest that some drivers were not up to dealing with today's conditions.

But at other times he praised motorists. "Well done, white Subaru" — when the driver of said vehicle pulled up behind a car dead in the water (or snow anyway) on an incline and then went around it, allowing the flow of traffic to continue.

Among his other observations:

"Two-wheel drive trucks are useless. Why would anybody buy one? I learned that the hard way."

"That's right, pull out in front me so I have to practically come to a stop going up this hill."

"I'm guessing those are not excellent tires." (Re: a vehicle being pushed but getting nowhere.)

"Worst intersection in town. Somebody's going to get killed. But nobody does anything about it." (As he waited on 37th to cross Grand.)

"Sorry, lady. Sometimes that's the way life is." (When a woman in an SUV had to slow down a little on Grand when he finally had a semi-opening to go through that intersection.)

When I disembarked, I thanked him for the narration.