Wintry weather affects Monday morning commute, snowy week ahead

<p><p>A momentary respite from the snow and wintry chill won’t last long. </p></p><p><p>After another eventful and slippery commute on Monday, Tuesday will probably not see much snow, though there is a chance for a light dusting in the evening, according to the National Weather Service.</p></p><p><p>From Wednesday through Saturday, however, several rounds of mountain snow will likely affect travel conditions, the NWS said. The valleys should see a mix of snow and rain.</p></p><p><p>Temperatures are forecast to drop toward the end of this week. Monday’s high temperature at Spokane International Airport was 27 degrees, with 2 inches of snow recorded. Temperatures will warm slightly on Tuesday, to a forecast high of 30 degrees. By Sunday, the forecast is for a high of 23 degrees and a low of 12 degrees .</p></p><p><p>Fog and snow showers rolled through the Spokane area Monday morning, delivering a mess for drivers including accidents on Interstate 90 that blocked lanes and even included a complete closure near Ritzville.</p></p><p><p>As city snow plows moved west on I-90 in downtown Spokane, the Washington Department of Transportation advised drivers to give them space and be aware the plows travel at 35 mph or less.</p></p><p><!–[photoset id=11648]–></p><p><p>For those traveling, the NWS recommended periodically checking road conditions and the forecast. Drivers were also encouraged to winterize their vehicle and pack an emergency supply kit.</p></p><p><p><a href=”” target=”_blank”>According to the Washington State Department of Health</a>, an emergency kit should have enough items to meet basic needs for at least 24 hours. The department recommended having emergency food, jumper cables or tow chains, a road flare, a flashlight and extra batteries, clothing for rain or harsher weather and basic hygiene items.</p></p><p><p>Winterizing one’s vehicle includes switching to traction tires and keeping snow chains in the car, according to the Department of Health’s vehicle preparedness webpage. The department also recommended doing checkups on the vehicle’s brakes, the ignition and fuel systems, wiper blades, tire pressure and batteries before taking a drive.</p></p><p><p>The recent snow and rain has helped pull much of Washington state out of the extreme drought it’s seen in the last year, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday. Since the last drought monitor, drought conditions improved in parts of northeast Washington and far northern Idaho Panhandle, according to the NWS.</p></p><p><p><em>Reporter Adam Shanks contributed to this story</em></p></p>