UPDATED at 3:20 pm
The National Weather Service says 1.5" of snow had fallen at its location on Spokane's West Plains as of 2 pm Friday.
“We expect another 3 1/2” or so by midnight and then we’re going to see some lighter snow through the morning hours on Saturday, so we’re probably see another inch of snow after midnight," said Mark Turner from the National Weather Service.
"The snow that we’re seeing here in the afternoon on Friday, the intensity’s really starting to pick up now so we’ll really see the snow start to pile up here for the Friday commute."
Because of the snow, some local schools, including Spokane Public Schools, St. George’s and St. Aloysius, have cancelled all afternoon and evening activities.
The city of Spokane says it will begin a full plow at 5:30 pm on Friday. That means 24 hours-a-day until streets are cleared, an exercise city officials say usually takes three days.
Saturday is expected to bring stronger-than-usual winds and a bit of blowing snow.
Sunday will bring the next significant round of snow, beginning in the morning, but accumulating especially in the afternoon and evening hours.
Then, colder air from the Northwest will begin moving into Inland Northwest on Sunday evening, driving down temperatures and wind chills. Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be the coldest days, with highs in the single digits and low teens, lows around zero or below.
Spokane city officials say they have enough de-icer and sand for the weather that’s expected. Employees from the water and wastewater departments are available to help with plowing. The city will man its 3-1-1 customer service phone line this weekend to field calls from residents.
The city is asking those residents to park on the odd side of the street in residential areas so plows can efficiently move through. And they’re asking people to shovel their sidewalks and help their neighbors move snow if needed.
The city says shelters and warming centers will be open to help people during the days when snow is falling and next week, when unusually cold temperatures are expected.
Keep up throughout the weekend at the Weather Service website, weather.gov/spokane.