Strong gusts expected to accompany single-digit temperatures, snow in Inland Northwest
Feb. 21, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 21, 2023 at 6:13 p.m.
More snow, gusty winds and near-record lows are in store for Inland Northwest residents this week after a snow squall and “flash freeze conditions” greeted residents Tuesday.
An arctic air mass will bring low temperatures into the single digits starting Thursday morning, said Krista Carrothers, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Spokane.
The forecast low of 5 degrees Thursday and Friday would come close to the record for Feb. 23 and 24, Carrothers said. The record low for Feb. 23 is 2 degrees set in 1942, and the record low for Feb. 24 is 3 degrees set in 2011.
Gusts will bring wind chill values to minus 10-15 degrees Thursday and Friday mornings, according to Carrothers. Gusts could reach as high as 34 mph Wednesday night and Thursday.
Meanwhile, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park announced on its Facebook page that it is suspending operations Wednesday and Thursday “due to an increasing wind forecast and negative temperatures.”
The weather service also called for “patchy blowing snow” Wednesday afternoon.
A winter weather advisory for North Idaho and Eastern Washington was expected to end late Tuesday night, with 1 to 3 inches of snow expected and gusts up to 40 mph.
“Flash freeze conditions,” when the roadway cools rapidly and a layer of ice forms, were part of the advisory, making for potentially slippery roads Wednesday morning, Carrothers said. Temperatures were expected to drop to the low to mid-teens Wednesday morning.
Snow descended on the area Tuesday, leaving trace amounts at the Spokane International Airport shortly before 4 p.m., she said.
Carrothers said the weather service monitored a snow squall, a brief, heavy snowfall with low visibility, Tuesday afternoon that worked its way southwest from the Idaho Panhandle toward Spokane. The squall forced temperatures in Coeur d’Alene to drop quickly from 35 degrees to 27 Tuesday afternoon.
Residents of the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas got emergency phone alerts from the weather service Tuesday warning the squall could seriously reduce visibility.
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