SPOKANE — After a snowy start to the weekend, Sunday brought more flakes to the Spokane area, resulting in some crashes and road closures throughout the region.
Colder temperatures are expected to usher in the new week, with highs Tuesday and Wednesday forecast in the low 20s and high teens, according to the National Weather Service Spokane office.
Forecasters initially projected about 3 inches of snow Sunday in the city, but temperatures above freezing downtown resulted in big, wet flakes throughout much of the day and little accumulation. An additional 1 inch to 2 inches is expected in Spokane overnight on Sunday, according to the weather service, with heavier bands of snow east of Coeur d’Alene.
Meanwhile, city crews continued their clearing of Spokane’s streets ahead of schedule. A full-city plow was expected to have been completed by around 10 p.m. on Sunday.
City of Spokane employees began plowing at 5:30 p.m. Friday as several inches fell. To prepare for today’s morning commute, crews will work on arterials overnight Sunday and early this morning to keep traffic flowing, the release says.
The high temperature today is projected to be about 22 degrees, which is about 10 degrees below average, said Amanda Young, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane.
Spokane Public Schools posted on social media Sunday that a decision to cancel school or have a late start would come early this morning, while some other districts already planned for a late return today after the weekend’s snow.
The Garfield-Palouse School District will start at 10 a.m., an hour-and-a-half late, district officials announced Sunday.
School bus routes at Pullman will run on emergency routes only today because of snow drifts on rural roads, according to an announcement Sunday night from the school district.
If additional changes must be made to the school day, families will be notified this morning. Anyone wishing more information may call (509) 334-3911.
While temperatures will be cold early next week, more snow isn’t expected until Thursday.
Avista Utilities Corp. reported dozens of outages in eastern Washington and northern Idaho on Sunday afternoon, affecting about 8,700 regional customers at its peak Sunday evening.
Several crashes were reported around the Spokane area, including one on State Highway 206 toward Mt. Spokane. Traffic was blocked beginning just before noon and crews later cleared the roadway, which reopened Sunday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
The Washington Department of Transportation closed Stevens Pass just after 2:30 p.m. to remove vehicles that had skidded and crashed due to heavy snow. The pass was still closed several hours later, and a planned closure was scheduled for today at 4 a.m. for avalanche control measures.
Eastbound lanes of Snoqualmie Pass were closed on Sunday morning because of vehicle spin outs, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. As of Sunday afternoon, traffic was permitted in both directions, with chains required on vehicles without all-wheel drive and oversize vehicles prohibited.
Traffic was moving slowly in both directions Sunday afternoon, with compact snow and ice on the roadway, according to the Transportation Department.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint reported Sunday afternoon that a regional power outage had the mountain’s chairlifts working on backup power.