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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 44° Cloudy
News >  Pacific NW

Strong winds could cause outages in inland Northwest, significant snow expected in area mountain passes

 (National Weather Service)
(National Weather Service)

Wind gusts could reach as high as 55 mph Saturday and temperatures in the mid-40s are expected to melt any snow that accumulated in the Spokane region, said Robin Fox, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane.

“It’s not going to last long,” Fox said of the snow.

Meanwhile, Washington passes, like Stevens and Snoqualmie, and Lookout Pass in Idaho, could see 2 to 3 feet of snow this weekend.

Fox encouraged travelers to check pass conditions in Washington and Idaho before heading out the door.

A wind advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. for much of northeastern Washington, including Kettle Falls, Grand Coulee and Spokane Valley. The strongest gusts are expected to hit their peak late Saturday morning and early afternoon.

Fox said the southerly winds will be 15 to 25 mph, with strong gusts at 40 to 50 mph. They could reach 55 mph in areas west of Spokane and across parts of the Columbia Basin where the landscape is more open, Fox said.

She said cities like Reardan, Davenport and Wilbur along Highway 2, and Highway 395 south toward Ritzville, could see those 55 mph gusts, which could affect drivers.

“It’s going to be challenging at times, especially if those strong gusts hit at the appropriate times,” Fox said.

Avista Utilities said in a news release the wind and snow storms will bring the possibility of outages in its Washington and Idaho service areas.

It said it is prepared to respond and is urging customers to prepare for the potential storm damage and outages.

Fox said people should secure loose outdoor objects, such as garbage cans, to prepare for the windstorm.

Avista said customers can expect to see current outage numbers on the outage map at myavista.com/outage, while the estimated restoration time will note that outages are under assessment. As assessments are complete and more information is known, estimated restoration times will be updated on the outage map.

Rain and snow is possible through Tuesday in the Spokane area.

Fox said snow accumulation is possible Sunday night and Monday morning as temperatures dip into the 20s.

After a high of 45 Saturday, high temperatures will drop into the high 30s through Tuesday and lows will be in the 20s, according to the National Weather Service.

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