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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Winter weather advisory issued as Spokane and Coeur d’Alene brace for 1 to 3 inches of snow Saturday

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 17, 2021

A pedestrian braces against the snow Thursday as she walks north through the intersection of Lincoln Street and West Riverside Avenue.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A pedestrian braces against the snow Thursday as she walks north through the intersection of Lincoln Street and West Riverside Avenue. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday for the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene metro area, two days after a snowstorm produced slick roads in the area and caused hundreds of crashes.

Greg Koch, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane, said 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected to fall Saturday, then the precipitation will transition to rain or a rain-snow mix in the mid- to late afternoon.

Pend Oreille and Stevens counties in Northeast Washington and Boundary and Bonner counties in North Idaho will see higher accumulations Saturday, Koch said. Three to 6 inches could fall in places like Deer Park and Newport, Washington; 4 to 8 inches are expected around Sandpoint; and even more snow could fall in some North Idaho spots.

For those looking to travel, Stevens and Snoqualmie passes in Washington and Lookout Pass in Idaho could see more than a foot of snow this weekend, he said.

“Not great news for travelers, but folks who have been looking forward to skiing will find this snowstorm over the weekend to be very good news,” Koch said.

Saturday’s high temperature will be 41, with a low of 31. Sunday’s temperatures will drop a bit to a high of 38 and a low of 26.

Spokane street crews will be out early Saturday morning addressing the snowfall. Night crews will continue with maintenance on the primary routes, Kirstin Davis, communications manager for the Public Works Department, said in an email.

A light snowfall Thursday left Spokane streets as an “ice skating rink,” according to Spokane police Sgt. Ben Maplethorpe.

Spokane Public Works Director Marlene Feist said she added extra teams to de-ice roads Thursday night and Friday morning, and she is prepared to call in extra crews and extend hours again Saturday if needed.

Crews switched to granular de-icer in hopes that cars would dig that grit into the ice, which could get it melting, Feist said.

Davis wrote that the granular materials are most effective with the cold temperatures.

Roads were so bad the police department sent out an alert asking residents to limit their driving Friday due to the icy conditions and numerous accidents, and multiple roads were closed.

The city responded to more than 200 car crashes from midday Thursday to early Friday morning.

Road conditions on arterials improved overnight, and schools were starting on time on Friday in Spokane County.

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