Winter is about to descend on the Inland Northwest and turn a lingering autumn into a deep freeze.
The change begins innocently enough with rain expected later on Saturday into early Sunday.
Mountain areas may see moderate to heavy snow above 3,000 feet.
Snoqualmie Pass is right at the rain/snow line, but Stevens Pass to the north on U.S. Highway 2 and Lookout Pass on Interstate 90 at the Idaho/Montana line could see accumulations of a foot.
Then, a strong low pressure system pushed by arctic air is expected to kick up winds on Sunday afternoon.
Gusts in Spokane could reach 20 mph or higher.
As the cold front arrives, snow levels will drop at the same time that precipitation eases.
While Sunday should see a high in the upper 30s to 40, the cold front will quickly drop temperatures to the upper teens by Monday morning.
A high on Monday near 30 will be followed by even more cold air, which should bottom out on Tuesday night with lows in single digits.
The arctic blast is not going to last, but it will set the stage for snow accumulations at all elevations on Thursday and Friday.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.