Roads remain slick as massive snow storm approaches

<p><p>Drive slowly and carefully or stay home if possible officials said as roads remained slick ahead of the large snowstorm expected to bring heavy snow to the Spokane area late Wednesday.</p></p><p><p>Numerous collisions are evidence of the dangerous conditions, the Washington State Patrol said on Twitter. </p></p><p><p>An armored vehicle, driving through black ice and snow, rolled over on Interstate 90 Wednesday morning, WSP said. </p></p><p><p>Between ½ and 3 inches of snow fell in the region overnight Wednesday, said Laurie Nisbet, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane. </p></p><p><p>The snow fall caused a two-hour delay at the Medical Lake School District. </p></p><p><p>Heavier bands of snow passed over northern Spokane County dropping about 3 inches of snow on Deer Park and Chattaroy. </p></p><p><p>While both Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes where open early Wednesday, the <a href=”https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/Snoqualmie” target=”_blank”>Washington State Department of Transportation</a> warned of compact snow and ice on the road. </p></p><p><p>With a storm blowing into Washington Wednesday afternoon, the department encouraged people to delay travel over all mountain passes due to “challenging” conditions. </p></p><p><p>A light snow likely will start falling in Spokane during the evening commute, Nisbet said, with heavy snow moving in after 8 p.m. and intensifying after 11 p.m.</p></p><p><!–[photoset id=11675]–></p><p><p>“The heaviest snowfall is going to be across central Washington, where places could receive a foot or more of snow, in the Cascades especially,” Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>Leavenworth is forecast to get 2 feet of snow with Wenatchee expected to receive 1 foot. Even Moses Lake, where significant snowfall is rare, is forecast to get 4 inches, Nisbet said. Sandpoint is forecast to get 14 inches by late Friday.</p></p><p><p>For some areas, the storm could be a top 10 snow event in recorded history, said Andy Brown with NWS Spokane in a briefing on the storm. </p></p><p><p>Travel conditions in some areas will be very difficult or impossible, especially over mountain passes, Brown warned.</p></p><p><p>The National Weather Service issues a winter storm warning for 9 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area. </p></p><p><p>In northern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle that already has “copious amounts of snow” another pile of snow is on the way, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>Spokane is forecast to receive 7 inches, causing difficult road conditions, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>“There could be tree damage from the heavier snow and then the winds,” Nisbet added.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”><!–[teaser id=987579]–></span></p></p><p><p>Both the city of Spokane and the county said they are <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/jan/04/when-will-the-roads-be-clear-after-the-upcoming-bl/” target=”_blank”>preparing for the storm with both plows and deicers,</a> targeting primary arterials and emergency routes first before moving on to residential areas.</p></p><p><p>Spokane Public Schools said in a tweet that they would work with Durham Bus Services, the company that manages the district’s school busses, and alert families to cancellations or delays by 6 a.m.</p></p><p><p>Heavy snow will continue to fall through Thursday afternoon with light winds from the northeast between 5 and 10 mph, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>As the snow tapers off into Friday, winds from the southwest are expected to blow at 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>Along with the strong winds will be warmer temperatures with a high Friday of 40 degrees. </p></p><p><p>“Warm temperatures like that and wind, we call it snow eaters,” Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>Snow will become heavy and wet, compacting down or turning into puddles, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>“It’s probably going to be a sloppy mess by Friday afternoon,” Nisbet said.</p></p><p><p>The whole mess will freeze Friday night with the low temperature forecast at 21 degrees, she said. </p></p><p><p>“Stay home if you can,” Nisbet said. “If you don’t need to travel, don’t travel.”</p></p><p><p>As snow plows and deicers work to clear the roads, snowfall is expected to taper off completely on Saturday, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>High temperatures Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be about 30 degrees with lows in the teens, Nisbet said. </p></p><p><p>On Sunday, the forecast shows the first dry day in about a week, Nisbet said. </p></p>