Wednesday, February 21, 2024

VIDEO: Major storm hits Friday, here's how it impacts the weekend

by KREM 2 Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo
| October 21, 2022 10:39 AM

Fall weather arrives Friday with an incoming storm bringing rain, wind, and high elevation snow to the Northwest. The arrival of the storm coincides with a 25-30 degree drop in temperatures from where the week started and a more fall-like weather pattern. Once it arrives, the wet, cool weather pattern is here for the foreseeable future.

The ridge pattern that brought ample sunshine and warm temperatures to the Northwest in recent days and weeks starts breaking down Thursday. That opens the door for a storm coming out of Alaska to sweep the Northwest Friday and Saturday as the first in what looks to be a series of systems bringing inclement weather to the region. The storm rides along a developing trough that sets up over the region, keeping cooler, wetter weather in the forecast.


A small push of moisture brought some light showers Thursday afternoon ahead of wind picking up Thursday night ahead of the front’s arrival. Rain and high elevation snow start Friday morning for the Cascades and the West Side. As of now, it looks like the bulk of the moisture holds off until the middle of the day Friday for the Inland Northwest.

Showers will likely start in Spokane late Friday morning, by 11am, and grow more widespread through the second half of the day and into the evening. The rain arrives with a push of stronger wind. Gusts will near 25-30 miles per hour, ushering in a colder airmass and dropping snow levels.

Snow falling in the Cascades and Northern Rockies will accumulate, but only up high. Snow levels will fall to near 4,000 feet on Friday and continue to drop to near 3,500 through the weekend. To put that in perspective, Fourth of July Pass and Snoqualmie Pass will likely not see any snow but Lookout Pass and Mount Spokane likely get a little to stick. Right now, accumulations look to be less than an inch over the weekend, but more is in the forecast for next week.

Saturday morning is still looking wet, with models keeping a majority of the rain across southern/southeastern Washington and North-Central Idaho and more in the way of scattered or lighter rain for Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. Wind will still be present, at 20-30 mph and mountain snow persisting in North Idaho through the morning hours, if not the entire day.

Sunday is looking drier, with just a leftover shower or two possible, but will be much calmer than Friday or Saturday for sure.


All said and done, much of the Inland Northwest will pick up somewhere between a third and a half an inch of rain. Spokane and many lower elevation areas in eastern Washington will be somewhere in the middle of that number. About four-tenths of an inch in most places nearest Spokane. Central Washington could receive around one-tenth up to a quarter of an inch all said and done. Foothills and mountain summits will be closer to the half inch to almost an inch total, around with southeastern Washington.

While snow and wind will be a factor, the impacts will be minimal. Most locations will see snow melt almost as fast as it falls because of our recent warmth. Wind also won’t be strong enough to cause any significant damage, but it may loosen some weaker branches, leaves, and pine needles that are barely hanging on this late in the season.

The biggest impacts of the incoming storm will be what it does to the overall weather pattern. The shift from a ridging pattern to a pronounced trough means the cool, wet weather is here to stay. Sunday looks to offer a brief break in the action with cool temps and a few peeks of sunshine through otherwise mostly cloudy skies. By Monday, it’s right back to the rain and mountain snow. The wet weather and seasonal temperatures last through the end of the month.

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Big fall storm to soak area with cold rain

A big fall storm will bring rain, wind, and mountain snow to Spokane and the Inland Northwest on Friday.

A big fall storm will bring rain, wind, and mountain snow to Spokane and the Inland Northwest on Friday.

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