It’s about to get cold. Really cold.
Starting Monday, Spokane will see temperatures in the teens and even single digits, according to a news briefing from Spokane’s National Weather Service Office. Monday is expected to reach a high of 18 degrees, and then drop to 14 on Tuesday.
Valerie Thayler, meteorologist with the weather service, said the cold likely will not affect the morning commute.
“We’re not really expecting any precipitation from it. We’re not expecting ice to form on surfaces, just because there’s no moisture to create the ice,” Thayler said.
The coldest days for Spokane are likely to be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There was more than a 60% chance Wednesday and Thursday would see a temperatures colder than 10 degrees, according to the weather service. The frigid cold was expected to last until Friday.
Thayler said the last time it was this cold in Spokane was Nov. 24, 2010, when the daytime high was 9 degrees and then plummeted to minus 10 degrees.
The coldest it has ever been in Spokane was in 1888 when the low was recorded at minus 30 and the high only reached minus 10 degrees, according to the National Weather Service news briefing..
“We’re not expecting below record temperatures during this,” Thayler said.
Other cities in the region are also experiencing the “rare arctic cold,” the weather service said in its briefing. In Sandpoint, it could reach only 11 degrees Monday and 8 Tuesday, the weather service said. Pullman is predicted to reach 19 degrees Monday and 13 Tuesday.
Thayler said cold temperatures are dependent on many factors, like whether there’s snow on the ground or clouds in the sky.
“If we see cloudy skies during the day that will help keep the temperature low, but at night when the skies are cloudy it acts as a blanket and keeps the heat in,” Thayler said. “We are expecting the clouds to stick around. It looks like it will be lightly to mostly cloudy Monday through Wednesday.”
Cold like this could increase the chance of frostbite and hypothermia, especially for those without access to warmth, the weather service wrote.
The city said it was opening a short-term warming space at noon Sunday until Jan. 2 at the Convention Center, Spokane city spokesperson Brian Coddington wrote in a news release. Space was planned for 150 people and would allow pets, the release said. Meals would also be provided.
People who wanted to donate were encouraged to send nonperishable food items, winter clothing and hand warmers to 527 S. Cannon St.
The temporary warming space was expected to cost the city $100,000. Public libraries would also be open for people to warm up in, according to the release.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated what the record low temperature in Spokane was. Minus 10 was the coldest high temperature ever recorded, not the coldest low temperature recorded.
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