Forecasters call for high winds, some snow, then high temps starting tonight in region

<p><p>Wind gusts could reach as high as 45 mph and 1 to 2 inches of snow might fall overnight into Saturday morning in the Inland Northwest.</p></p><p><p>The flakes are expected to turn to rain as the weather warms up into the 40s Saturday, said Steve Bodnar, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane.</p></p><p><p>Bodnar said sustained southerly winds up to 25 mph are expected, with gusts in the range up to 40 mph in Spokane and northeastern Washington counties. Isolated winds could be around 45 mph.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>He said Thursday night the National Weather Service has not issued a wind advisory because the 45 mph wind gusts will be extremely isolated.</span></p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>“It’s something we’re looking at whether we need to issue or not,” Bodnar said.</span></p></p><p><p>Bodnar said the strong winds will be a result of the rapidly changing air mass in the region as temperatures dip into the low 30s Friday night in Spokane, then increase to a high of 44 Saturday before dropping back to the low 30s Saturday night.</p></p><p><p>Meanwhile, Avista Utilities said on Twitter that people should go to <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a> for tips if the high winds end up causing power outages.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>Bodnar said there is a better chance for snow in higher elevations like the West Plains and the South Hill overnight into Saturday morning. It might be too warm for snow to accumulate in downtown Spokane, he said.</span></p></p><p><p>One foot or more of snow is expected at Lookout, Snoqualmie and Stevens passes this weekend<span class=”print_trim”>, which could lead to travel delays and restrictions, Bodnar said</span>.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>He said there is another potential for light snow Monday night into Tuesday morning in the Spokane area.</span></p></p>