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Winter storms headed to North Idaho

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | December 30, 2020 1:06 AM

Winter storms are headed to North Idaho.

"They're lined up like ducks on a pond," Press Climatologist Cliff Harris said Tuesday.

Up to 6 inches of snow could blanket the Panhandle today. Precipitation in the Inland Northwest is expected to begin with up to 2 inches of snow by morning commute, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane. The winter weather advisory issued by the NWS early Tuesday outlined a winter storm that will turn into rain later in the day as warm air flows into the Coeur d'Alene area. Heavy snow will most likely fall in the Inland Northwest, but just how much depends on how aggressively the warm air surges northward.

"If it gets up to the mid- to upper-30s during afternoon, there could be some rain mixing in or very wet snow, which tends to knock down the amount of snow cover," Harris said. "The first wave looks cold enough, so there won’t be much rain. Mostly snow, and pretty heavy snow."

The region is in "a very rainy and/or snowy period," Harris said, as storm after storm will blow through within 24 to 36 hours of each other in the next 10 days.

"There’s at least four storms lined up in the northern Pacific back into the Sea of Japan," he said. "It could extend to as much as 18 days, which would carry it to the 14th of January."

Harris foresees the region's snowfall reaching above 30 inches by the end of the month, nearly four inches above the 29.6-inch month average. At least 50 inches more are expected in January.

Winds will be gusty as well, beginning in the mountains this afternoon and evening and whipping up to 35 miles per hour.

"People with flat roofs, they should be prepared to shovel," Harris said. "This is a lot of moisture headed our way, mostly snow, because this is the coldest time of year."

The winter weather advisory is in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday.

photo

DEVIN WEEKS/Press

Scott Flanders, 1, of Rathdrum, holds a chunk of snow with intent to throw on Tuesday during play time in McEuen Park. More snow is on the way as winter storms are lining up to head to North Idaho. Three to six inches are expected through tonight.