By DEVIN WEEKS
COEUR d’ALENE — The groundhog predicted spring would be here soon.
Press climatologist Cliff Harris agrees warmer weather is on its way, just not before it gets a little wet, wild and woolly out there.
"Spring is coming, I promise," Harris said Thursday.
Looking toward President's Day weekend, Harris said he sees three weather fronts that will cycle about every 24 hours, bringing precipitation to the region and making for a windy Saturday.
"If a front comes through, that means rain with southwesterly winds," he said. "They could get up to 25, maybe 30 miles per hour on Saturday. It seems like every Saturday has been windy."
He said whether areas will see rain or snow depends on elevation as well as the timing of the arrival of these fronts from the north Pacific.
"We could see a pattern of snow overnight in the early morning hours and changing to rain in the afternoon," he said, adding that below 2,200 feet will most likely see rain, between 2,200 and 2,800 feet will see a mix and above 3,000 feet there will be snow.
"It's nothing to write home about, but that's at least some moisture for us," he said. "We're not in Lake Tahoe. This is normal for February."
He referred to last February, when North Idaho was caught off guard by a heavy, long-lasting snowfall.
"Last time we got five times the normal," he said. "It's been pretty puny this month. We have warmer waters in the Pacific. We're ahead of moisture for the year, but most of the moisture has fallen as rain. We’ve had 6.7 inches of moisture so far in 2020, .90 for February. That's a very small amount for February."
It's expected to be a little sloppy, but temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s and lower 40s.
"It's not going to be all that cold," Harris said, however another chance for rain and snow will come by the middle of next week.
Looking further ahead to March, Harris sees the next month coming in as a mix of mild and wild.
"March right now, it looks like a lamb with a wolf's head," he said. "It could take a bite out of us, but it won't be fatal."