SPOKANE, Wash. — Snow is tapering off around the Inland Northwest on Thursday after a record-breaking winter storm slammed the area.
Spokane International Airport saw 8.1 inches of snow by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, breaking the previous record for Dec. 30 of 5.4 inches set in 1990. About four inches of snow had fallen as of 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
The City of Spokane announced on Wednesday that it would launch a full-city plow in response to the heavy snowfall. Crews will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they plow all streets and the effort should take about three days to complete.
Icy roads and slush may pose difficulties for some drivers during their Thursday morning commute.
Snow will likely linger across much of North Idaho on New Year's Eve, but Spokane should dry out by Thursday afternoon. Any wet weather in Spokane on Thursday is likely to be rain or a rain/snow mix, as high temperatures will be in the mid-30s.
The heavy snowfall led to traffic problems throughout the Inland Northwest on Wednesday, with multiple slide-offs reported on Interstate 90 in the Spokane area and a handful of crashes.
The snowstorm comes just days after Spokane got about four inches of snow on the night of Christmas Day, the second highest amount that ever fell on the holiday.
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Your pics: Snow falls around the Inland Northwest
Warmer temperatures are on the way for the holiday weekend. The first day of 2021 will be a cloudy one with highs in the upper 30s. Rain and snow return on Friday night, but precipitation should be all rain in Spokane on Saturday and Sunday with highs near 40 degrees.
Strong winds are expected to develop Saturday night into Sunday morning, with gusts of 40-50-mph possible in the Spokane area.
The area mountains will continue to see heavy snow through the holiday weekend, which should make for great conditions at local ski resorts.