First measurable snowfall of the season expected in Spokane overnight

<p><p>The first winter storm of the year hit Spokane on Thursday afternoon as street crews prepared for slick afternoon and morning commutes.</p></p><p><p>The National Weather Service Spokane issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 p.m. Thursday through 10 a.m. Friday. Rain and snow are expected to fall overnight and into the morning, said Laurie Nisbet, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Spokane.</p></p><p><p>“It’s the first snowfall in the Spokane area,” she said. “It’s going to be really dependent on where you are in elevation as to how much snow you’re going to get.”</p></p><p><p>Less than an inch of snow is expected in downtown Spokane, Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake while the South Hill, Newman Lake, Airway Heights and other areas at a slightly higher elevation could get 2 to 3 inches, she said.</p></p><p><p>“It’s a very tricky forecast as to where the rain-snow line is going to be,” Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>Currently, the roads are warm, Nisbet said, so it may take a few hours for the roads to cool down Thursday night and the snow to start accumulating.</p></p><p><p>The majority of the snow likely will fall late Thursday night and early Friday morning and could have a significant impact on the Friday morning commute, Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>“Allow a little extra time, slow down,” Nisbet said, adding if working from home is an option “just stay home.”</p></p><p><p>“If you’re running errands, do them tomorrow afternoon instead of first thing in the morning,” Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>While snow likely will accumulate Friday morning, it should melt as the day warms with a high in the mid- to upper 30s.</p></p><p><p>Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be warmer and dry with highs around 40 degrees and light winds, Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>“It’s just time to start putting your mind on, this is winter,” Nisbet said. “We’ve got to prepare and drive for the conditions.”</p></p><p><h3>Thanksgiving travel considerations</h3></p><p><p>After a dry weekend, more precipitation is possible midweek next week, Nisbet said. Western Spokane County will likely be dry but the mountains of the Idaho Panhandle and Cascade Pass will have a chance of precipitation. On Thanksgiving day there’s a chance of snow regionwide that could transition into rain the valleys, Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>Both Snoqualmie and Stevens passes could see snow accumulation by the holiday but forecasters are still uncertain of how much this far out, Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>Travelers headed home the weekend after the holiday can expect persistent snow but it remains unclear how much, she added.</p></p>