More snow bound for winter-weary Spokane

SPOKANE — Another big storm is headed toward snow-weary Spokane, which already has had a record-breaking snowfall this winter.

The National Weather Service at 5 a.m. today issued a winter storm warning — upgraded from a winter storm watch — for the Cascade Mountains and Eastern Washington, including Spokane.

Weather bureau meteorologist Ellie Kelch in Spokane said the warning means “significant amounts of snow are expected that would make traveling very hazardous.”

Kelch said the forecast was for 6 to 8 inches of new snow in Spokane from 10 p.m. tonight and throughout the day on Monday.

Spokane already has 21 inches of leftover snow on the ground at the Spokane Airport.

After getting 61.5 inches of snow in December, Spokane has had 6.9 inches of snow in January, making the snow total for Spokane since Dec. 1 a whopping 68.4 inches.

The 61.5 inches was the highest snow total for any month in Spokane since the National Weather Service began keeping snowfall records in 1893.

“We’re tough here,” Kelch told The Associated Press Sunday.

The previous snowfall record for any month in Spokane was 56.9 inches in January 1950 and the previous December snowfall record in Spokane was 42.7 inches in December 1996.

Kelch said the January 1950 record of 56.9 inches isn’t likely to be broken this year, though, because a warming trend — and everything is relative — is coming.

“I don’t know if we can break that (the January record),” she said. “We’re going to get into a warm period.”

Kelch said the high temperature Wednesday for Spokane is forecast at 39 degrees. Today’s high for Spokane was forecast at 20.

Today’s storm was expected to bring 1 to 2 feet of new snow in the Cascade Mountains, which separate Western and Eastern Washington, along the crest, Kelch said.

Today, the Cheney School District announced it had decided to cancel classes for Monday. Eastern Washington University, located in Cheney, announced Friday it had called off classes for Monday. Eastern said it will resume classes Tuesday if snow conditions allow. The district is southwest of Spokane.

Two animal rescue groups worked in harsh weather conditions to save more than 30 of horses from starvation in Stevens County on Saturday. The horses were on a 40-acre piece of property near the town of Wellpinit, northwest of Spokane. Their owner, a 75-year-old man, told rescuers it was too difficult for him to care for the horses.

So rescuers with Shepherds Way Rescue and Fantasy Farm Thoroughbreds worked to catch and horses and load them in trailers in frigid conditions Saturday. Some of the horses were too weak to walk. The rescue groups said their plan was to rehabilitate the horses and put them up for adoptions.

In Spokane, the people most tired of the winter weather were, of course, the snowplow drivers. For 18 days, many city and county snowplow drivers have worked 12-hour shifts without a day’s break.

“They’re getting real rummy,” Spokane street director Mark Serbousek told The Spokesman-Review. “If they start getting like they’re not really with it, they’ll pull them.”

Condition Red is the term the city uses when street crews are ordered to seven-day schedules with 12-hour shifts.

In a full week of a Condition Red operation, a plow driver works 84 hours; 44 of those are overtime, paid at time and a half. The city asked for volunteers to work on Christmas and New Year’s, with double-time pay.

“The paycheck is nice, but money isn’t everything,” said Curtis Borders, who has worked for the street department for three years. “I’m looking forward to going back to my four 10s.”

Public works director Dave Mandyke estimated that each day of Condition Red snow removal costs the city $220,000, a figure that includes street workers’ regular salaries.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Most Read