Freezing weather expected to keep roads icy Friday; snow expected Saturday

<p><p>Forecasters expect a frosty Friday for the Spokane area with high temperatures in the mid-20s, keeping the roads icy throughout the day. </p></p><p><p>A light snowfall Thursday left Spokane streets as an <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/dec/16/light-snowfall-slickens-streets-and-ices-the-manit/” target=”_blank”>“ice skating rink,”</a> according to Spokane police Sgt. Ben Maplethorpe. </p></p><p><p>Roads were so bad the police department sent out an alert asking residents to limit their driving Friday due to the icy conditions and numerous accidents, and multiple roads were closed. The city responded to more than 200 car crashes from midday Thursday to early Friday morning.</p></p><p><p>Roads conditions on arterials improved overnight, and schools were starting on time on Friday in Spokane County.</p></p><p><p>The city of Spokane warned on social media that residential streets remained “very slick” Friday morning as crews focused on arterials overnight.</p></p><p><p>Spokane Public Works Director Marlene Feist said she added extra teams to deice roads Thursday night and Friday morning.</p></p><p><p>“They really focused on hills and bridges last night,” Feist said. “The snow came in just right at that freezing temperature then melted then froze solid to the street.”</p></p><p><p>Crews switched to granular deicer in hopes that cars would dig that grit into the ice which could get it started melting, Feist said. </p></p><p><p>Feist is prepared to call in extra crews and extend hours again Friday and Saturday if needed, she said. </p></p><p><p>“They’ll adapt their approach based on what they’re seeing,” Feist said.</p></p><p><p>Snow moved in Thursday as temperature dropped, said Charlotte Dewey, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane. When the skies cleared overnight, air radiated out pulling the heat from the region, she said. </p></p><p><p> Friday morning temperatures were just over 10 degrees, she said. </p></p><p><p>“We probably won’t be above freezing,” Dewey said. </p></p><p><p>While the region may see some sunshine, it won’t be enough to warm temperatures, or roadways, she said. </p></p><p><p>Snow is expected to return to the region late Friday night and all day Saturday with 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Cascades and 1 to 3 inches in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area. </p></p><p><p>“Likely the roads will be of concern through the weekend,” Dewey said. “Anyone that’s traveling I would encourage them to allow plenty of time.”</p></p>