After another round of predicted snowfall Wednesday night, forecasters said the extended period of snowstorms is winding down as Christmas arrives.
A broad area of low air pressure and colder air from the northwest created the repeating pattern.
More than 18 inches of snow has fallen in Spokane from Dec. 16 through midmorning Wednesday. That is more snowfall in a little over a week than Spokane had all of last season, when a mere 17.6 inches of snow was recorded.
The Cascade crest, including Snoqualmie Pass, may see several more inches of snow before the storm winds down Friday. The pass had been closed at times in both directions Wednesday for avalanche control and slideouts.
In the Inland Northwest, lighter snowfall amounts may be seen through Christmas Day. Then the region will fall under a northerly flow with cold temperatures at night through the weekend.
Spokane and Coeur d’Alene should see highs near freezing Thursday with lows near 20 Thursday night.
Highs drop to the middle 20s Friday before taking a dive Friday night to about 9 in Spokane and 13 in Coeur d’Alene.
National Weather Service forecasters said weekend highs will run from 20 to 26 and lows will range from 0 to 16 degrees.
In Spokane, a low of 9 on Friday night would be followed by a low of 16 Saturday.
A heavy cover of snow on the ground and in trees allows for what little warmth there is during the day to radiate into space at night.
A winter weather advisory was set to expire across the region at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Spokane residents Wednesday morning awoke to about 2 inches of fresh snow even as street crews were making sweeps across residential areas.
That left many with double duty of clearing new snow from sidewalks and driveways and removing the heavy snow berms left by plows.
The Coeur d’Alene area received even more snow, with over a foot on the ground this week.
Traffic across the region appeared to be moving smoothly despite some accidents earlier Wednesday.
Compact snow, slush and ice were reported on the Snoqualmie Pass road surface Wednesday.
Fourth of July Pass on Interstate 90 in North Idaho also had slick conditions, according to the Idaho Transportation Department. The Idaho State Police cautioned drivers to watch out for trees falling onto the highway under the weight of heavy snow.
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