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OLYMPIA – Washington officials are bracing for more bad budget news next week, and the only real question seems to be “How bad?” Already expecting a $4.6 billion gap between the cost of existing programs and the expected revenue for the coming two-year budget cycle, state leaders have said that figure could grow by at least $500 million – and maybe as much as $2 billion – when the state economic forecast is released on Thursday.
Keep your hat and gloves at the ready because cold weather will linger across the Inland Northwest throughout the rest of this winter and into spring. Art Douglas, who farmers call “The Weatherman,” meted out his chilly forecast Tuesday. It included adequate rainfall that should help deliver another good wheat crop.
Rain and snow are expected to make a comeback this weekend, followed by sunny skies and cold temperatures in the coming week. From today’s expected high of 40, temperatures will drop into the 30s Sunday, then fall further during the week, with highs in the 20s and lows approaching 10.
After a few days of reprieve from the snow, the flakes began falling in the Spokane area again Saturday. Roads became slick, leaving local law enforcement to deal with numerous slide-offs and collisions.
OLYMPIA – The state is still being buffeted by the “Great Recession” and will have about $1.2 billion less than previously expected through mid-2013, Arun Raha, the state’s chief economist said Thursday. Raha called the forecast grim. State leaders suggested the looming gap between scheduled expenses and expected revenue is so large that the Legislature may need a special session next month to help balance the books through June, then start new rounds of cuts in January for the budget that covers the next two years.
Still have some outdoor chores left to do from the summer? This next week may be your last opportunity to work (or play) in warm weather before fall takes over.
The Inland Northwest is likely to see a cold and snowy winter this year under a weather pattern similar to 2007-’08, when La Niña brought near-record snowfall. “We are certainly going to have more of a winter than we had last winter, which is a no-brainer,” said John Livingston, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service bureau in Spokane.