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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Icy patches caused by sprinklers greet area drivers

This type of red maple called Autumn Blaze lives up to its name this year. (Mike Prager)
This type of red maple called Autumn Blaze lives up to its name this year. (Mike Prager)
Icy patches where sprinklers were left running are being reported across the Spokane area this morning as the temperature dropped well into the 20s in most locations. The ice apparently was being caused in some cases in places where property owners had allowed sprinkler systems to run in the early-morning hours. Water that spilled onto roadways then froze to the driving surface. One location that was dangerous was along the city-owned parkway of West Riverside Avenue to the west of Monroe Street. It was so bad that the city had to call out a deicer truck to melt the ice. Television stations reported by Twitter that Country Homes Boulevard had ice on it, and a driver also said that North Division Street’s southbound lanes south of Hawthorne Road were iced over along a strip of businesses. It looks like it’s time to shut down those sprinklers, and the city could save on its own water bill, not to mention the cost of deicer. At 7 a.m., it was 28 at Spokane International Airport, 27 at Felts Field near Millwood, 30 in Coeur d’Alene and 18 in Deer Park. One location on the North Side was 23 degrees. Heavy frost gathered on vehicles left outside. Higher air pressure and a northerly flow has brought dry Canadian air to the region with dewpoints in the middle 20s. The dewpoint shows the cooling potential overnight. After the sun goes to work today, temperatures could rise to a comfortable 50 degrees, but increasing clouds are likely from a disturbance moving northeastward along the Pacific coast. Light south winds will accompany the disturbance and help lift the cold and moderately polluted air now lying along the lower air levels of the Columbia Basin into Spokane and the northern valleys. Air pollution this morning was in the moderate category from fine particles including wood smoke. The low tonight should be in the upper 20s to about 30. But the bright fall weather should resume on Thursday to be followed by a weak storm front on Friday or Friday night. Saturday and Sunday should see improving weather and a slight warmup. Highs will be in the upper 40s to lower 50s with lows in the lower 30s through Sunday.
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