First measurable snowfall of the season expected in Spokane overnight on Thursday

The first winter storm of the year will blow over Spokane on Thursday night with a little snowfall and slippery roads.

The National Weather Service Spokane issued a winter weather warning from 4:00 p.m. Thursday through 10:00 a.m. Friday. Rain and snow are expected to fall overnight and into the morning, said Laurie Nisbet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Spokane.

“It’s the first snowfall in the Spokane area,” she said. “It will really depend on where you are in the altitude how much snow you are going to get.”

Less than an inch of snow is expected in downtown Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake, while South Hill, Newman Lake, Airway Heights, and other areas could reach 2 to 3 inches at slightly higher elevations, she said.

“It is very difficult to predict where the rain-snow line will be,” said Nisbet.

The streets are warm right now, Nisbet said, so it may take a few hours for the streets to cool down on Thursday night and for the snow to build up.

Most of the snow is likely to fall late Thursday evening and early Friday morning and could have a significant impact on Friday morning commuting, Nisbet said.

“Allow a little more time, slow down,” said Nisbet, adding that if working from home is an option, “just stay home”.

“If you run errands, do it tomorrow afternoon instead of first thing in the morning,” said Nisbet.

While snow is likely to pile up on Friday morning, it should melt when the day warms up with a high in the mid to late 30s.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be warmer and drier with highs around 40 degrees and light winds, said Nisbet.

“It’s just time to worry, it’s winter,” said Nisbet. “We have to prepare for the conditions and drive.”

Thanksgiving Travel Considerations

After a dry weekend, further precipitation is possible in the middle of next week, said Nisbet. Western Spokane County will likely be dry, but the Idaho Panhandle and Cascade Pass mountains will have a chance of rainfall. On Thanksgiving Day, there is a chance that there will be snow across the region that could turn into rain in the valleys, Nisbet said.

Both Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes could see a build-up of snow by the holiday, but forecasters are still unsure how far this far is, Nisbet said.

Travelers heading home on the weekend after the vacation can expect continued snow, but it remains unclear how much, she added.

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