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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane expected to get 8-12 inches of snow, mostly on Wednesday

An already cold and snowy November will end with a significant dumping on Wednesday.

Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are expected to receive 8-12 inches Tuesday night through Thursday morning, said National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Koch. Areas to the north and east, including Colville, Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint are more likely to receive 1 to 2 feet.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday night through Wednesday.

Light snow is expected to begin again late Tuesday in Spokane and in northeastern Washington. Moderate to heavy snow is expected to continue throughout Wednesday in Spokane and in the Idaho Panhandle.

“We can expect snow to begin prior to sunrise and increase during the morning commute,” Koch said, adding the heaviest snowfall is expected midmorning to early afternoon Wednesday.

Drivers can expect “very difficult” travel conditions on Wednesday, including low visibility due to blowing snow, as well as travel delays, the weather service said.

“We might wake up Wednesday morning with less than an inch on the ground, but stay tuned,” National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Brown said. “It’s going to pick up.”

Spokane Streets Director Clint Harris said drivers should make sure their cars are equipped to handle winter conditions. He warned drivers to be ready to drive slowly and take their time based on the conditions.

“We’re making sure we have plenty of materials, and our resources are all ready to go, whether it’s people or equipment,” Harris said. “We will adapt to whatever the conditions are that happen.”

In general, areas north of U.S. Highway 2 will have a higher probability of increased snowfall, Brown said. Areas farther south of U.S. 2, including Moses Lake and Lewiston, have a lower chance of increased snowfall.

Temperatures were expected to remain below freezing throughout the week with a high of 23 degrees in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Areas in Northeastern Washington were expected to get much colder with Colville expected to fall to 1 below zero and Republic expected to drop to 5 below.

“Tuesday morning could be quite cold, in the single digits and even negative in some places,” Brown said. “Most places will be at freezing or below, so the snow is going to stick around until the end of the week.”

Temperatures in the region this week are expected to be 5-15 degrees below average for this time of year, according to the weather service briefing.

The Spokane International Airport was 7.5 degrees below average for the first 27 days of November, making this the fifth coldest November in Spokane history so far, the weather service said.

Monday’s morning commute was slick in much of the region from new snow.

The airport measured 1.6 inches that fell on Monday. Most measurements on the day’s snow collected by the weather service ranged from 1 to 3 inches in Spokane and Kootenai counties, said Ken Daniel, weather service meteorologist.

About 11 inches of snow have fallen in Spokane so far this November. At least a trace of snow has covered the ground at the airport since Nov. 7.

The most that’s ever fallen in Spokane in November is 25.9 inches in 2010.