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High winds, first snow coming to the Inland Northwest this week

Screenshot of National Weather Service slide

The National Weather Service says both will begin arriving Thursday night and early Friday morning.

The National Weather Service is warning of high winds expected to blow through the Inland Northwest Friday and Saturday.

Meteorologist Laurie Nisbet says steady breezes will arrive Thursday evening and increase overnight into the 10-to-20 mile-an-hour range Friday morning. She says gusts to 50 miles an hour are possible in Spokane, Ritzville and the Palouse, but there’s still some uncertainty about that.

“The winds will be quite strong a couple hundred feet off the ground, but the question will be will those strong winds move down to the surface. So because of this nocturnal timing, we’re saying that the wind gusts will be sporadic and infrequent at this time, with the highest risk of the strongest winds across the higher elevations like the higher hills and mountains," she said.

At the same time, snow is expected in the early morning hours on Friday. Nisbet’s early guess is that much of the Inland Northwest will receive an inch or two, with perhaps as much as three inches in parts of northeastern Washington, north Idaho and in the Palouse.

“This snow will likely be wet and heavy and we’ve only had about two weeks of quote-unquote “fall weather.” I mean, we really didn’t get cold until about two weeks ago, so there’s still a significant amount of our trees that still have a lot of leaves on them, so that’s something to take into consideration when you’re beginning your preparations for later this week," she said.

Nisbet predicts the snow and wind together will cause some tree damage and power outages, but not as severe as snow and wind events in Spokane in recent years.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.