An already cool month of September could end with snow in Spokane as this coming weekend’s forecast calls for wind chills in the 20s, according to the National Weather Service.
A big trough is bringing cold temperatures and moisture to the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene region, and some forecast models are calling for snow in the valleys. It would be the first time Spokane has had snow in September since flakes fell in 1926, meteorologist Rocco Pelatti said.
“There’s a whole bunch of things that could happen. We are trying to let folks know to prepare to protect some plants,” Pelatti said. “Early snow may impact the mountain passes.”
Just last week, some snow fell in elevations above 6,000 feet. However, few places in the region reach that high. For example, Mount Spokane tops out at 5,886 feet.
“There might actually be some snow in the air in the valleys. I say the air because the soil temperatures are still pretty warm,” Pelatti said.
His readings on Monday showed the soil temperatures between 64 and 56 degrees, which would melt in a hurry any snow that falls, he said.
“If (the snow) stayed in the grass, it would be pretty fleeting,” he said. “It wouldn’t impact driving, I would think.”
The forecasts remain somewhat jumbled, or in meteorologist speak: “pretty noisy.”
“We’ve got the snow level as low as 2,600 feet for Saturday night and Sunday morning,” he said. “It’s still too early to tell.”
But the temperature is expected to drop to as low as 32 for Sunday night into Monday morning for Spokane. The forecast calls for 30 degrees during the same time frame for Deer Park.
“The last time Spokane had snow around this time, that date was 1926,” Pelatti said. “They had 1.4 inches on Sept. 23.”
The possible snow could add to an already wet September. So far, Spokane has received about .95 of an inch of rain, which is nearly half an inch above the normal rainfall of .48 of an inch.
Following the upcoming cold weekend, Monday’s temperature could draw out winter coats.
“On Monday, it could be cold. Wind chills might be in the 20s,” Pelatti said.
For the rest of this week, the temperatures will remain below normal with winds that could gust up to 25 mph in the Spokane area and up to 30 mph in the Columbia Basin.
Following the cold and possible snow this weekend, the extended 14-day forecast calls for more below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation, he said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of calls,” Pelatti said. “The temperatures will stay pretty cool.”
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