Record cold temperatures a possibility this week
The polar air will drive overnight lows below zero in many Inland Northwest cities.
Weather forecasters say some Inland Northwest cities could potentially match or break cold temperature records this week.
The coldest arctic air will arrive in the middle of the week. Meteorologist Charlotte Dewey from the National Weather Service office in Spokane says the current forecast calls for a low of -9 Wednesday night-Thursday morning and a high of just 5 on Thursday.
“The last time Spokane saw a high temperature that cold was 1 degree back in 2004, so it's been quite some time since we've seen just these drastically cold temperatures,” she said. “And it's not out of the realm of possibilities that we could see some areas dipping as cold as -10 or colder for Thursday morning.”
The last time the mercury dropped below -10 in Spokane was on February 26, 2011.
Cold winds may drive wind chill readings below zero, even during the peak temperature periods during the day.
With this cold front, forecasters also expect some snow. A Tuesday storm could drop two to three inches in Spokane, and four to six inches in Coeur d Alene, with more expected over the mountains.
Forecasters say daytime highs may start to warm up just after Christmas, with temperatures expected to warm above the freezing mark.