Monday’s sunshine will give way to one more gasp of winter, with multiple inches of snow predicted overnight that could threaten a century-old record.
“The bulk of the snow is looking to fall between that 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. window, which is the prime morning commute time,” said Joey Clevenger, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Spokane.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Monday afternoon for most of northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. Meteorologists predict between 4 inches and 6 inches of new snowfall in Spokane through Tuesday, with the higher end of the range threatening a daily snowfall record for March 12 that has stood since 1899. Four inches fell in the Spokane area on that day.
If Spokane receives more than 4 inches of snow, it would set the third daily snowfall record of this winter. Record 24-hour snowfall was received Feb. 10, besting a record from 1904, and on Feb. 12, surpassing a record from 1897.
Higher snowfall totals are expected in the mountains of the Idaho Panhandle and the Cascades. The snow will begin on the western edges of Spokane County about 10 p.m. Monday and is expected to continue through Tuesday afternoon, Clevenger said. The winter storm warning will expire at 5 p.m.
“This is going to be a quick-hitting system for tomorrow morning, and then we’re going to see warmer, drier air,” he said.
The high temperatures Tuesday are expected to reach into the upper 30s, with warming continuing throughout the week. Daytime temperatures could reach 50 degrees as soon as this weekend for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, Clevenger said.
Last weekend saw a warming trend and sunshine after a historically cold and snowy February. As of Sunday, Spokane had experienced 37 days in a row with colder than normal temperatures, and 28 days in a row with snow deeper than 10 inches on the ground, according to climate data at Spokane International Airport collected by the weather service.
Temperatures in Spokane last rose above 50 degrees on Nov. 4.
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