The cold and wintry start to fall in Spokane will start to turn around next week as we approach Thanksgiving.
Overnight lows have dipped into the teens each night since Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane, and 14 of the first 17 days of November have seen temperatures below average for this time of year. That trend should continue until Monday, said Jon Fox, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane.
“It’s going to warm up, slowly but surely,” Fox said Friday afternoon.
Spokane is stuck in what’s known as an inversion, when cold air at the surface is trapped under a blanket of warmer air up in the atmosphere. That can trap pollutants, including wood fire smoke and car exhaust, causing air quality readings to dip.
“The air quality should get worse each day, based on people burning wood stoves, that sort of thing,” Fox said.
The stagnant air spurred the Spokane Clean Air Agency to issue a temporary burn ban starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Outdoor burning is prohibited in all of Spokane County during the ban, as is the use of fireplaces, wood stoves or inserts that aren’t certified by the EPA, and other non-certified wood-burning devices for residents in the Smoke Control Zone, which includes the most populated areas in the county. A map for the zone can be found at spokanecleanair.org/burning/burn-restrictions/. If wood is your only source of heat, you are exempt from the burn ban.
Residents can still use wood stoves, pellet stoves and other burning devices certified by the EPA during the ban.
Temperatures Friday and Saturday night should once again reach the teens, with a potentially frigid 12-degree low overnight Friday, the Weather Service predicts.
An Air Stagnation Advisory has been issued for much of Eastern Washington and North Idaho through Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Spokane Clean Air Agency expects air quality readings in the moderate category, and perhaps even the unhealth for sensitive groups region, through the weekend.
The weather pattern, which has remained stable and cold since about 4 inches of snow fell Nov. 7, will shift overnight Monday into Tuesday, bringing the chance of rain and snow. But current models have the heaviest precipitation pushing into Canada, Fox said.
“I think it’s probably going to snow, but it probably isn’t going to be a significant amount of snow,” Fox said.
The snowfall could cause winter travel conditions on Stevens and Lookout passes overnight Tuesday, for those driving home or elsewhere for the holiday.
The cold temperatures have left the snow that fell earlier in the month on the ground in many areas throughout the county, which has also impeded warming during the daytime, Fox said.
The long-range forecast has temperatures potentially reaching the upper 40s by Thanksgiving.
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