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Winter Storm Warning: largest snow event of the season hits Spokane late tonight

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Spokane with 4-7 inches of snow forecast. Snow is even more likely in Northern Washington and Idaho.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A significant winter storm is forecast to hit the Inland Northwest on Wednesday night and last through most of the day Thursday. Spokane, North Idaho, and most areas of eastern and northern Washington could see the largest dump of snowfall in a single event this season.

Winter storm warnings go into effect on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. for Central Washington and 9 p.m. for Spokane and all areas eastward. The watch will remain in effect until Thursday afternoon. 

Snowfall totals will generally be between four and eight inches across the area, including in Spokane. Northern Washington and far North Idaho could push six to ten inches of snow, with the Silver Valley potentially gaining upwards of 12-14 inches at the top end of forecast snow totals.

A deep layer of moisture will fuel the snowfall development in the atmosphere. From a meteorological perspective, the moisture travels northeast towards eastern Washington and rides over a warm front. This keeps the areas below freezing but pumps the atmosphere full of moisture, which will lead to widespread heavy snow events.

Only areas south of Interstate 90 may see the snow switch to a rain and snow mix by Thursday afternoon as the warm front advances into the region. The Tri-Cities are only expected to gain one to two inches of snow before a switchover to rainfall. In northern Washington and the higher elevations of the mountains, however, it's an all-snow storm.

One to two feet of snow is likely across our area mountains with two to three feet for the Cascades. This comes after Snoqualmie Pass reported that they have seen the most snowfall to date this season, with 236 inches (19 feet 8 inches) of snow.

All travel will be impacted by this snowstorm, from mountain passes to in-town streets and even flights. Be sure to check travel conditions before leaving if you must drive and always have an emergency kit in your car. An emergency kit should have things like blankets, snacks, water, first aid, medication, a phone charger, and a flashlight. 

According to a tweet from the Spokane International Airport, the storm is expected to impact flight operations over the next couple of days. 

They advised travelers to check departing flights for delays before leaving, allow extra time to drive to the airport due to road conditions and to download the airline's app to be notified about delays and updates regarding departing flights.

All flight statuses can also be found at the Spokane airport's webpage.

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