Heavy snow, winds expected this weekend

A reader board at Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union's Omak branch shows a frigid temperature Monday evening.

OKANOGAN - The Spokane office of the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch, calling for significant snow and blowing winds this weekend.

“Bands of moderate to heavy snow are expected Friday night into Saturday. Snow will be followed by increasing north or northeast winds Saturday into Saturday night,” meteorologists said Thursday morning. “Blowing and drifting snow will have the potential to reduce visibilities and cause some roads to become impassable.”

The watch covers much of eastern Washington including Republic, Inchelium, Wauconda, Chesaw Road, Sherman Pass, Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Bridgeport, Oroville, Nespelem, Disautel Pass, Waterville and Mansfield.

Weather officials said a total snow accumulations of 5-9 inches is possible in the Moses Lake, Ephrata, Grand Coulee and Omak areas, with higher amounts possible on the Waterville Plateau.

“Periods of moderate to heavy snow possible from Friday evening through late Saturday night,” meteorologists said. “Blowing and drifting snow Saturday and Saturday night as north winds gust potentially as high as 45 mph.”

Officials said travel may be difficult.

“Blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility and cause some roads to become impassable due to drifting snow,” officials said.

Meteorologists said 8-12 inches of snow is possible in the Mazama, Twisp, Winthrop, Loup Loup Pass and Conconully areas.

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