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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Snow expected in Spokane starting Friday

FILE – Traffic creeps through downtown Spokane on Riverside Avenue Sunday, Jan 8, 2017 in a light snow shower. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Snow is on the way, but it’s probably not here to stay.

While forecasters at the National Weather Service are predicting the season’s first snow to fall Friday night and most of the day Saturday, it won’t stick around on the roads. At least not for long.

“The road temperatures are going to be warm enough that it might not accumulate on the roadway,” said Bob Tobin, a weather service meteorologist. “But it will be a wet, slushy type of snow on Saturday.”

It’s also the end of a picturesque autumn. Winter is rapidly approaching, and the 50-degree sunny afternoons are soon to be behind us, Tobin said. Instead, temperatures will keep dropping into averages of around 30s and 40s into and throughout November.

On Saturday, most of the region is expected to see snow. Forecasters predict a half-inch to an inch could fall throughout the day. Heavier snow accumulation is expected in the northern valleys and mountains, and mountain passes in the Idaho Panhandle and Cascades.

Tobin said the storm front heading south from Canada will be colder than normal.

“We can have this stuff happen late October, early November for sure,” he said. “But yeah, we’re rapidly approaching the snow season, that’s for sure.”

Announced Oct. 16, Spokane will plow at the first accumulation of snow – a departure from snow plans in the past that required stages of accumulation before the plows hit residential streets. It’s unknown if plowing will be necessary Saturday, however.

City spokesman Brian Coddington said Tuesday that city officials will keep a close eye on the weather to determine where and if deicing and other plowing measures are needed.

“That’s a judgment call based on conditions,” he said. “The city will be ready with both to be able to respond according to weather conditions.”