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

About 3 inches of snow fell Thursday in Spokane, but it should melt by the weekend

Christine White dumps a load of snow as neighbor McKenna Culberton clears another section of sidewalk during snowfall near the corner of Fourth Avenue and Spruce Street on Thursday in Spokane. White says, because of shoulder issues, this is the first season in four years she has been able to shovel snow. She wants to keep the area free from snow because it encourages people to walk by her condo. Culberton had just completed a run and said shoveling was a good way to finish her exercise.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Spokane drivers had a slick commute Thursday after 2.7 inches of snow fell Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon.

Flurries in other parts of the region varied. The Colbert area received 2.5 inches, while Coeur d’Alene received trace amounts of snowfall.

Rachael Fewkes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the weather event was done and over with Thursday, with the weather system moving north of the area.

Instead of more snow, “we’ll see light precipitation on and off through next week,” Fewkes said.

Temperatures will start to gradually warm Friday, reaching the low- to mid-40s early next week and giving the snow a chance to melt.

“Most of it will be gone by this weekend,” Fewkes said.

Spokane has received 26.2 inches of snow so far this season. That’s about 70% of the average snowfall for this time of year, 37.3 inches.

That gap likely won’t get much smaller as the season progresses.

“Right now, it’s not looking like there are any more big snows in our future,” Fewkes said. With above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation predicted in the coming weeks, “most precipitation we see will be rain.”

Fewkes said the below-average snow Spokane has received this season isn’t unusual, especially for an El Niño winter. El Niño is a natural climate pattern marked by warmer-than-average surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This translates to warmer, drier weather for the Northwest.

“It’s not extreme by any means; the annual snowfall fluctuates a lot. Typically during El Niño years, it’s below average,” she said. “There’s been quite a few years where we’ve had somewhere around 20 inches of snow up through this point.”

Roberta Simonson's reporting is part of the Teen Journalism Institute, funded by Bank of America with support from the Innovia Foundation.