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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane expected to have a windy, snowy New Year’s Eve

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 30, 2019

Rob Gray, of Spokane, braves cold weather as he runs through Riverfront Park on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Rob Gray, of Spokane, braves cold weather as he runs through Riverfront Park on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane area could see rain and up to an inch of snow by the end of New Year’s Day, as well as 40 mph wind gusts that could bring down tree branches and cause power outages, according to the National Weather Service.

Bob Tobin, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Spokane office, said a narrow corridor of moisture known as an “atmospheric river” will affect weather in the region in two waves starting Tuesday night.

“It’s not going to be a whole lot of snow,” Tobin said.

But it may be enough to make roads slick and snarl traffic.

“We’ve had a lot of accidents, it seems, this year with light amounts of snow,” Tobin said.

Weather advisories were in effect Monday in northeast Washington and parts of North Idaho, including Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry.

In the Spokane area, temperatures are expected to rise throughout the week, with highs near 44 degrees on Tuesday, 38 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, and back up to 44 degrees on Friday, according to the weather service.

“The snow that does come down won’t be sticking very long,” Tobin said.

Winds are expected to blow toward the south and southwest during the next couple of days.

On Tuesday, the area will experience winds between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts around 35 mph, Tobin said. The wind will pick up Wednesday with speeds between 15 and 25 mph and gusts around 40 mph, he said.

That could be enough to bring down a few tree branches, but Tobin said the damage probably won’t be as bad as the aftermath of the freak October storm that snapped trees across the South Hill. There won’t be as much wet, heavy snow, and trees have since lost their leaves, which acted as sails during the previous storm, resulting in more fallen branches.

Casey Fielder, a spokeswoman for Avista Utilities, said customers who experience outages should report them via myavista.com/outage or by calling (800) 227-9187. Customers should call that number as well as 911 to report the location of a downed power line or if they smell natural gas.

“Avista is ready to respond to storm-related outages at any time,” Fielder said in an email. “As part of routine operations, Avista follows the National Weather Service forecasts closely and is watching the weather this week. Crews, supplies and vehicles are ready and available to respond should they be needed.”

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