Break out the galoshes.
Warm winds are expected to push daytime temperatures across Spokane and Coeur d’Alene into the low 40s today, replacing recent snowfall with widespread rain and drizzle, according to the National Weather Service. Even overnight lows could stay just above the freezing mark.
“It’s going to seem balmy,” meteorologist Todd Carter joked Sunday evening.
Although forecasters canceled a heavy snow warning that had been issued for the region as a “Pineapple Express” brought the warmer tropical air into the region, morning commuters still were being advised to drive with care.
It could take a while for packed snow and ice to melt completely from some roads, officials said, while slush and puddles can pose hazards as well.
Across the region Sunday, though, motorists continued to struggle with icy roads.
Westbound lanes of Interstate 90 were left partially blocked Sunday morning when a semi-truck overturned near the Cheney and Four Lakes exit about 11:30 a.m., according to the Washington State Patrol.
Portions of U.S. Highway 2 also were left partially blocked a half-hour later by a multiple-vehicle collision in Lincoln County at milepost 254.
In Stevens County, a pickup slid out of control along U.S. Highway 395 and collided with an oncoming SUV about 1:40 p.m. near the intersection with Roitz Road. Three people were injured in the collision, and the vehicles were destroyed, the State Patrol said.
Ski areas are counting on continued cold in the mountains.
Near Chewelah, the latest storm dumped 14 inches of snow at 49 Degrees North, prompting the ski area to announce it will open today for the season. The summit has 26 inches of snow, ski area operators said.
Meanwhile in Western Washington, forecasters were advising residents to brace for fierce winds and flooding.
Sustained winds of 40 mph, with gusts to 60, were expected beginning late Sunday along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in the Hood Canal and Admiralty Inlet areas, and south to the Everett area. Winds only slightly less forceful are expected elsewhere in the Puget Sound area.
Snow in the Olympics and Cascades on Sunday is expected to give way to rain today, increasing the threat of flooding, the Weather Service said. A flood watch was in effect for most of Western Washington.