A snowy Sunday is expected to follow wintry weather that dumped on the Inland Northwest overnight Friday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 10 a.m. Monday, calling for more snow Sunday on top of the 7 to 12 inches that fell in various parts of the region Friday and Saturday.
The weather service initially said an additional 3 to 6 inches could fall Sunday in Spokane but later revised the forecast to a more likely 2 to 3 inches, said forecaster Bryce Williams. The Idaho Panhandle and the mountains will likely see greater amounts of snow.
Warm air is approaching from the south and if it makes it to Spokane there could be a mix of rain and snow, Williams said. As of Saturday afternoon it appeared that the line between snow and a rain/snow mix would be south of Spokane.
“The exact placement of that line is not 100 percent,” Williams said.
The snowstorm Friday and overnight into Saturday morning at times caused whiteout conditions, blanketing the region with more than seven inches of snow in Spokane and as much as a foot in North Idaho.
The storm brought Spokane’s snow total to 44.1 inches as of Saturday morning, just shy of the 44.9 inches the city normally receives in an entire winter. The normal amount of snowfall by this time of the year is 34.3 inches.
The snow caused havoc on the roads, with cars getting stuck on side roads and in snow berms all over the city. Police officers only respond to stuck cars when they are blocking traffic, but often showed up to find citizens had already come to the rescue, said Officer Ben Maplethorpe.
“I think for the most part people are just out helping each other,” he said.
Most officers have 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles and didn’t have any problems getting around, Maplethorpe said. The department’s 2-wheel drive patrol cars were outfitted with chains.
The city of Spokane announced all routes will be plowed – a process that takes about four days – and asked people to move their cars off arterials and bus routes. Cars in residential areas should be moved to the even side of the street.
Plows will be out on downtown streets overnight Saturday. Motorists are asked to move their vehicles from downtown spaces between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
The cities of Spokane Valley and Post Falls announced full-city residential plows Saturday morning. Coeur d’Alene has launched a new map that allows residents to track the progress of snow plows at http://cdaid.org/snow.
The weather caused some closures and cancellations, though the top-ranked Gonzaga men’s basketball team was still scheduled to take the floor Saturday night. Flights into and out of Spokane International Airport were mostly on schedule, though three flights to Portland, Oregon, were canceled.
The Weather Service had some fun on its Facebook page early Saturday, informing visitors that a standard shovel full of snow weighs about 5.7 pounds.
“If your driveway is 18 feet by 20 feet and you shovel it clean this morning, you moved over a ton of snow! Congratulations, you can skip the gym today,” the Weather Service wrote.
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