Freeze likely to linger, but little snow in forecast

December 30, 2012 - Updated: 6:29 a.m.

Snow and icy roadways Saturday led to numerous car accidents around Spokane County.

Authorities across the county responded to 63 crashes between 4 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., said Spokane County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. That included the Washington State Patrol, the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Bands of light snow arrived in the afternoon, and while the accumulations were insignificant, cold air prevented road temperatures from climbing above freezing, said meteorologist Greg Koch with the National Weather Service.

While those cold road temperatures kept authorities busy, most of the accidents were minor slide-offs or fender-benders, with no serious injuries reported, Chamberlin said.

Some of the biggest problem spots were areas north and east of Spokane, including Newport Highway, Eloika Lake Road, and westbound Interstate 90 in Spokane Valley.

At 3:37 p.m. the State Patrol responded to a four-car injury crash on U.S. Highway 395 some four miles north of Spokane that partially blocked the roadway.

Saturday was the coldest day in the region so far this winter, and the first day this winter that temperatures didn’t reach at least 30 degrees, Koch said. The high at Spokane International Airport was 25 degrees as of 5 p.m.

More cold is on its way in the coming week.

High temperatures will be in the mid- to upper-20s, with nighttime lows in the lower teens. No snow is expected to fall through Wednesday night. Spokane residents should expect cloudy skies and patches of fog.

The Coeur d’Alene area is also expected to see patchy fog, with temperatures just a few degrees warmer than Spokane.


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