Record-breaking snow blankets area, more on the way

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  • (CHRIS CHAFFEE/LightBenders) Traffic and pedestrians on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene brave snow and slippery conditions on Saturday.

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    (DEVIN WEEKS/Hagadone News Network) Shay Young and Paul Beggerly of Coeur d’Alene walk their dogs Kota and Kitty by Lake Coeur d’Alene as snow turns to rain Saturday afternoon. The National Weather Service in Spokane released a winter weather message Saturday calling for moderate to heavy snow across the Inland Northwest this weekend, with a strong and wet storm system bringing snow througout the day today.

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    (DEVIN WEEKS/Hagadone News Network) Harlan Harmon, a landscaper for The Coeur d’Alene Resort, shovels the sidewalk at First Street and Sherman Avenue following a dump of snow Saturday morning. Despite the snow, rain and wind, downtown was still fairly busy with locals and visitors shopping, dining out or walking their dogs.

  • (CHRIS CHAFFEE/LightBenders) Traffic and pedestrians on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene brave snow and slippery conditions on Saturday.

  • 1

    (DEVIN WEEKS/Hagadone News Network) Shay Young and Paul Beggerly of Coeur d’Alene walk their dogs Kota and Kitty by Lake Coeur d’Alene as snow turns to rain Saturday afternoon. The National Weather Service in Spokane released a winter weather message Saturday calling for moderate to heavy snow across the Inland Northwest this weekend, with a strong and wet storm system bringing snow througout the day today.

  • 2

    (DEVIN WEEKS/Hagadone News Network) Harlan Harmon, a landscaper for The Coeur d’Alene Resort, shovels the sidewalk at First Street and Sherman Avenue following a dump of snow Saturday morning. Despite the snow, rain and wind, downtown was still fairly busy with locals and visitors shopping, dining out or walking their dogs.

Monster snowflakes blanketed North Idaho with 7.3 inches early Saturday, breaking the previous Feb. 17 record of 7 inches set in 1986.

The snow was followed by icy rain and accompanied by frigid wind.

Harlan Harmon, a landscaper for The Coeur d'Alene Resort, was up bright and early to start shoveling and clear sidewalks and parking lots. He rallied through the snow on an ATV as he tried to keep up with the rapidly falling snow.

"It's fun whenever it does snow," he said, smiling as he added to a snow pile at First and Sherman.

While pedestrians, sledders and those on foot reveled in the wintry day, it was another story for drivers.

Ice underneath the snow and later slush from the rain caused hazardous conditions all day. By mid-afternoon, Idaho State Police reported 54 slide-offs and 18 crashes. ISP recommends drivers use caution and drive slowly in these conditions, and be sure to leave plenty of room between yourself and the vehicles ahead of you.

"You know it's not going to last very long," Beggerly said. "This stuff's going to be gone pretty quick. Although it's supposed to get really cold, so it might stay around for a bit. This is probably the last of it, I'd imagine."

Meteorologist Randy Mann says nope, this is not the last of it.

"We have another snow coming toward the middle of the week," he said. "We'll get a bit of a break, then late February and early March could produce another humdinger."

At least 10 more inches could fall as the month progresses into March.

The snow — we're not done," Mann said. "All those people who thought winter was over, welcome to North Idaho."

And it's going to get really, really cold.

"We'll have some of the coldest weather in mid- to late February," he said. "Dress warm. Tuesday morning, lows around zero. Wow."

Moderate to heavy snow is expected again today, according to a winter weather advisory released by the National Weather Service in Spokane. Heavy snow will occur in the mountains and valleys across North Idaho, with strong winds over the mountains. An Arctic air mass is expected to settle into the region, bringing brisk north winds and very cold temperatures.

On the bright side, spring is only about a month away.

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