Dry, cold temperatures ring in region’s new year

January 1, 2019 GMT

New Year’s Day begins under partly cloudy skies and temperatures hovering around 30 degrees in Spokane, the National Weather Service predicted.

A bit more sunshine is forecast for the Inland Northwest on Wednesday, though the temperatures are expected remain about the same.

A new weather system then pushes its way into the area early Thursday morning, bringing a 60 percent chance of snow. Accumulations will be less than half an inch, according to the NWS.

The falling snow is expected to turn to freezing rain between 9 and 10 a.m. Thursday, before turning to rain as temperatures rise.

Snoqualmie Pass is expected to be clear with no restrictions through Wednesday afternoon until rain and snow move into the area, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches is likely on Thursday at Lookout Pass.

On Monday morning, heavy fog in the Seattle area caused flight delays and the diversion of six inbound Sea-Tac International flights to Spokane, said Todd Woodard, spokesman for Spokane International Airport.

Spokane International Airport is expecting more than 11,400 passengers on New Year’s Day, an increase of more than 700 passengers over last year, according to data from the airport.