National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Excessive Heat in the Interior West; Monsoon Conditions in the Southwest

Dangerous heat is expected to be in place across portions of California, especially the Central Valley, and across the Interior Northwest into Friday. Heat Advisories will also be in place across the southern Plains into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Monsoonal showers and thunderstorms may result in flash flooding and debris flows from the Four Corners region and Southwest through Friday. Read More >

December

 

 

 

 

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December 1st

2019: A series of accidents and road closures occurred on Interstate-90 in Central Washington due to snow accumulations in the afternoon. Over 25 collisions, mostly consisting of rollovers and vehicles sliding off the roadway, occurred on the interstate between George and Moses Lake. This led to at least two people sent to a hospital for minor injuries. With a detour in place, there were extensive backups for hours.

2005: Snow and rain fell across northern Idaho and eastern Washington into the early morning hours of the 2nd.Over 100 auto accidents were reported across Grant and Douglas counties, and near Wenatchee. A further two dozen were recorded in Coeur d'Alene. None of these accidents caused any serious injuries.

1994: Heavy rain and snowfall fell across the entire state. Roads in Bonner county were washed out.

1993: Icy roads caused the death of a man near Ephrata.

December 2nd

 

December 3rd

1995: Winds reached up to 80mph in Bonner, Benewah, Boundary, Latah, Nez Perce, and Kootenai counties. Over 6500 people lost power for two days due to downed trees and power lines. Several roofs were blown off structures. Icy roads caused some minor accidents.

December 4th

1995: High winds continued throughout Northern Idaho, with winds reaching 65 mph. Trees fell onto houses and power lines. Winds also reached 77 mph at Royal City and 96 mph in Grant county.

1993: 41 mph gusts caused a power outage in Lewiston.

December 5th

 

December 6th

2013: Arctic Blast 

December 7th

1992: Icy conditions resulted in 4 accident-related deaths and 2 other injuries across central Washington.

December 8th

1993: Strong winds caused power outages around northern Idaho. Wind gusts reached 40 mph at Coeur D'Alene.

December 9th

2007: 1-3 inches of snow fell in Spokane, contributing to numerous car accidents. One collision resulted in an unknown number of indirect injuries as a car slid off the road into a group of people standing outside another vehicle involved in a separate collision. Most of the crashes and slide-offs occurred along Interstate 90.

1995: Heavy snow and freezing rain caused over 300 accidents over a two day period in Eastern Washington. I-90 between Ritzville and Moses Lake was virtually impassable. Some roadways had ice 0.5 inch thick. Only 5 injuries were reported.

1991: 70 mph gusts recorded near mountaintops in the panhandle.

December 10th

 

December 11th

1994: Heavy rains cause rockslides in the Laclede area, southwest of Sandpoint, causing Highway 2 and a rail line to close.

December 12th

2008: A winter storm blew across northern Idaho and eastern Washington from the afternoon of the 12th to the morning of the 14th. Numerous vehicle collisions occurred in Moscow on the Idaho Palouse. Snow accumulations in Idaho ranged mainly from six to ten inches with lighter amounts in the Coeur D'Alene area and on the Palouse. The Naples area however received heavier amounts with reports ranging from 13 to 16 inches. On the Washington Palouse, one indirect fatality was contributed to icy road conditions on Highway 195 near Albion Road. Drifting snow and low visibility led to multiple slide-offs and the closing of State Route 27 from Tekoa to Fairfield. Numerous other accidents resulted from the first significant snow of the season for most areas. Snow accumulations from the storm ranged mainly from five to nine inches in Washington, but with higher amounts in the Okanogan Highlands and Northeast Mountains. In the Okanogan Highlands, spotters three miles west of Boyds and eight miles southwest of Inchelium picked up a foot of snow. In the Northeast Mountains, a foot was also reported nine miles north of Metaline Falls.

1995: High winds caused substantial damage throughout northern Idaho. Trees fell onto power lines and houses in Kootenai and Benewah counties. Over 25,000 people lost power for several hours. 60 mph winds in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls knocked down power lines onto roads and destroyed roofs, billboards and flipped motor homes. Winds reached 46 mph sustained in Spokane, gusting to 55 mph. This knocked out power to 10000 people in the city. Cheney reported 75 mph gusts, and Rattlesnake ridge recorded 93 mph gusts. A house was ripped apart and others were damaged in Benton City. 5 inches of precipitation fell at Holden Village, the 3rd most precipitation to fall there all-time.

1991: 55 mph gusts were responsible for damages in Post Falls, Coeur D'Alene, Lewiston and Moscow. Power was lost for six hours.

December 13th

1992: Blowing snow reduced visibilities to near zero in south-central Washington. The winds knocked out power over a 100 square mile area in the region.

December 14th

2010: A cold front passage brought 50 mph wind gusts to Cheney. The winds resulted in power outages for a couple hours, with several trees knocked down.

2000: Cold Air Damming Case

December 15th

2009: Snow, freezing drizzle and freezing rain fell across northern Idaho and eastern Washington. Mostly snow fell earlier, on the 14th, but that turned into freezing rain and drizzle on the 15th. Icy roadways near Post Falls contributed to a fatal pileup on Interstate 90 involving four vehicles with one indirect fatality and six indirect injuries. In the Moses Lake area several motor vehicle accidents occurred from a combination of snow and fog. Snow accumulations in the valleys ranged from three to six inches, except for as much as eight inches in Bonners Ferry. Snow accumulations over central and northeast Washington ranged from three to six inches, except in Leavenworth where as much as ten inches of snow was reported.

2006: A deep low pressure system brought damaging southwesterly winds into eastern Washington and northern Idaho on the evening of the 14th through the morning of the 15th. Coupled with the heavy snows from the 14th, significant damage was reported throughout the area. 100 mph gusts were reported in George and in Quincy, 90 mph gusts were recorded at Desert Aire, 88 mph gusts were recorded in Moscow, 82 mph gusts reported at Priest Rapids Dam, 77 mph gusts recorded in Colfax, 75 mph gusts were reported at Hauser Lake and at Hayden, 70 mph gusts were recorded at Kellogg, 65 mph gusts recorded in Wenatchee, Mansfield and Irby, and 60 mph gusts were recorded at Lewiston, Spokane, and Pullman. The winds knocked down trees and power lines in these areas. Several trees fell on mobile homes, injuring 3 people. Another person was injured when a tractor trailer was blown onto him. A marina at Lake Pend Oreille was severely damaged. In Smelterville, southwest of Kellogg, a plane was flipped over by the high winds. 3 hangars in Desert Aire were damaged, with the planes inside taking considerable damage. The power was knocked out for the entire Methow Valley. Pend Oreille County and Quincy were declared disaster areas.

2000: Strong winds followed the storm system of the previous night early in the morning. These winds produced snow drifts 3-5 feet tall. A gust of 63 mph was reported at Pullman, a 59 mph gust was reported at Lewiston, Coeur d'Alene recorded 49 mph gusts, and Spokane received 48 mph gusts. Numerous trees and power lines were knocked down, causing sporadic power outages across the Palouse. Several highways were closed, including Highways 7, 95, 54, and 195. A motor home in Pullman was destroyed by the winds, and a house under construction in Coeur d'Alene had its walls blown down.

December 16th

2001: High winds were reported on the upper portions of the Columbia Basin in the evening. A tree was blown onto a house in Grand Coulee, and numerous shingles were blown off a school.

December 17th

2008: A stationary arctic front brought record-setting snowfall across northern Idaho and eastern Washington from early in the morning on the 17th to the early morning of the 19th. A record two day total of 33 inches was recorded in Coeur d'Alene. 25 inches fell in a 24 hour period in the city, which was also a record. An all-time record 18 inches fell on the 18th in Rosalia, and 12 inches fell at Saint John, also a record. 8 inches fell at La Crosse, the most snowfall recorded in the city for a December day. Athol was also hard hit where 30 inches of snow fell. The heavy snow closed several roads, schools, businesses, and led to numerous accidents. One such accident closed down west bound lanes of Interstate 90 near Coeur D'Alene for two hours. From 10 AM on the 17th through 10 AM on the 18th, Spokane Airport measured 19.4 inches of snow, breaking the previous 24 hour record of 13 inches. The heavy snow closed roads, schools, businesses, Spokane County Courts, and contributed to numerous car accidents. On the 17th, the Washington State Patrol responded to about 200 wrecks in Eastern Washington. One such accident blocked interstate 90 in Spokane. Bus service was also temporarily suspended with garbage collection also cancelled for a day. Numerous flights were also either delayed or cancelled flying out of Spokane International Airport. The heavy snow put Spokane street plows into a condition red. Private contractors were brought in to help clear snow from streets. Portions of State Routes 27, 194, 195, and 274 were closed in Eastern Washington. Total snow accumulations in the Spokane area ranged from 19 to 25 inches with the highest accumulations on the south and east end. In the North Idaho Panhandle including the Coeur D'Alene area; 32 inches fell in Rathdrum, 29 inches three miles east of Spirit Lake, 29 inches in Post falls, 28 inches in Rathdrum, 23 inches in Blanchard, 13 inches in Clark Fork, and 8 inches in Bonners Ferry. In the Central Panhandle Mountains; 17 inches fell five miles west of St. Maries, with 14 inches two miles south of Deary. In the Idaho Palouse; 21 inches fell five miles north of Moscow, with much less accumulation south of there. On the Washington Palouse; Oakesdale measured 24 inches, Colfax 16 inches, 14 inches four miles west-southwest of Palouse, Pullman 12 inches, and La Crosse eight inches. In the Northeast Washington Mountains; 21 inches was measured seven miles south-southwest of Newport, 19 inches five miles southwest of Usk, 17 inches in Deer Park, 17 inches five miles northeast of Elk, 16 inches in Clayton, 15 inches three miles north-northeast of Loon Lake, and seven inches five miles south of Northport. In the Okanogan Highlands, seven inches was recorded four miles west of Boyds. In lower Garfield and Asotin counties, a very impressive 20 inches fell in Pomeroy. In the northeast Blue Mountains, Ski Bluewood picked up 25 inches, while only six inches four miles west of Anatone. The Wenatchee area, Waterville Plateau, and Upper Columbia Basin picked up four to six inches.

1994: An avalanche near Stevens Pass destroyed 4 vehicles, injuring its passengers. A second avalanche at Mission Ridge ski resort kills a person as he did avalanche control work.

December 18th

1999: Strong winds caused a structure at a construction site to collapse in Bonners Ferry, injuring 6 people.

December 19th

2004: A strong cold front brought strong winds to the northern Cascades and to the Waterville Plateau. 60 mph winds knocked down trees at Lake Wenatchee and at Waterville. A woman was killed when a tree fell on her while she was sledding at Lake Wenatchee.

December 20th

1997: 1-4 inches of snow fall overnight across northern Idaho. One person was killed when his car slid off the road between St. Maries and Plummer.

December 21st

 

December 22nd

 

December 23rd

 

December 24th

 

December 25th

1998: Strong winds associated with a winter storm cause damage to numerous roofs and a shed, near Worley and Plummer, in Benewah County.

December 26th

2008: A strong warm front brought heavy snow to most of northern Idaho and eastern Washington from the evening of the 26th through the afternoon of the 28th. Heavy snow load on roof tops in Coeur D'Alene and Spokane began to cause problems. An awning above a business in Coeur d'Alene fell onto a sidewalk. A flat sunroof of a home also had a partial roof collapse. The additional snowfall also contributed to several power outages resulting from trees falling onto power lines, mostly south of Lake Coeur D'Alene. After the snow had ended a woman from Rockford, 20 miles southeast of Spokane, suffocated to death after snow had apparently fell from her rooftop and buried her while shoveling snow. The weight of the snow at a hotel caused three historic ceiling tiles to crash to the lobby floor. A business in the Spokane Valley experienced a roof collapse. After this storm Spokane County declared a state of emergency. The Palouse also began to see roof collapses, with a couple reported in Colfax. Storm total snow accumulations ranged from four to eight inches with locally higher amounts. Some of the higher totals include 12 inches 15 miles north-northwest of Leavenworth. Ten inches were reported in Rosalia, seven miles south of Liberty Lake, and four miles west of Anatone.

2006: Heavy snow fell across most of central Washington. Over 11-13 hours, 7 inches fell at Leavenworth, 6.5 inches fell at Wenatchee, 5.5 inches fell at Riverside, and 4 inches fell at Omak and at Chelan. Many vehicles slid off the road due to all the snow and ice on the roads. Over 2800 people in Chelan county lost power due to trees falling on the power lines. The power was not restored until the 28th.

1996: Heavy snow continued to fall in Lewiston, forcing the airport to close. Other roads were also closed. A county disaster was declared for Nez Perce county with 2 feet of snow falling throughout the county.

December 27th

1998: Snow melt and 2-4 inches of rain caused minor flooding near Moscow and Pullman. through the 29th. Several businesses in Pullman were submerged under a foot of water. Highway 195 was closed. Portions of Washington State University were also flooded. 50-60 mph winds ripped through Pomeroy, causing damage to several buildings and destroying a shed.

December 28th

2010: Heavy areas of blowing snow fell across northern Idaho and eastern Washington from the evening of the 28th through the evening of the 29th. Widespread accidents, major highway closures, and thousands losing power resulted during this major storm. Clark Fork was hit especially hard with heavy snow as a stalled frontal boundary resulted in 28 inches of snow. Power outages were reported in the Kellogg, Deary, and Sandpoint areas. In the Coeur D'Alene area Idaho State Police responded to 56 accidents. In the North Idaho Panhandle in Bonner County, authorities responded to 11 slide-offs and 16 non-injury accidents. The Idaho Transportation Department closed down U.S. Highway 95 from Moscow to Lewiston, and State Highway 3. Road closures in Washington include U.S. Highway 195 from Pullman to the Idaho State Line, State Route 27 from Palouse to Garfield, and State Route 23 from Steptoe to the Lincoln County Line. In addition, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport closed early on the morning of December 29th due to poor runway conditions, and remained closed much of the day. Washington State Patrol responded to 150 slide offs and collisions between Cheney and the Idaho State Line. Interstate 90 in Spokane was closed at the height of the storm after a semi truck crashed. Two people received indirect injuries after a collision on Highway 195. County roads from Wilson Creek to Grand Coulee were closed due to falling and drifting snow. In a separate incident, heavy rains led to an isolated cause of flooding near Rose Lake. A culvert running underneath Idaho 3 collapsed, with the roadway later washing out. The road was closed for a week before reopening.

1998: An ice jam on Mission Creek, in addition to rapid snowmelt, causes flooding from Cashmere to Entiat. Several basements and businesses were flooded in Cashmere. Highway 28 was closed. 2.50 inches of precipitation fell at the Cabinet Gorge, the most precipitation to fall there on a December day.

1996: A winter storm pounds Boundary and Kootenai counties. Boundary county was declared in a State of Emergency, as over 4 feet of snow fell. The National Guard was called in to clear the snow. Many roads were closed due to blizzard conditions. 8-10 inches of new snow fell all around the panhandle. Roofs collapsed in Coeur d'Alene. I-90 was closed due to ice. 14 inches of snow fell overnight in Chelan county.

December 29th

2011: At around midnight, a line of thunderstorms brought damaging winds to the Idaho panhandle. Wind gusts ranged from 30-60 mph. A tree fell onto power lines in the Benewah Valley at St. Maries. Trees also fell down in the town of Osburn, in Shoshone County. The toppled trees caused extensive damage to a motor home, car, storage shed, car port, and patio cover. One tree clipped a house resulting in minor damage. Two roofs were completely blown off from primary residences and several other roofs were damaged. Several power poles and power-lines were damaged.

2008: Heavy snow fell across northern Idaho and eastern Washington, in the 10 hours a low pressure storm took to move through. In Idaho, snow accumulations ranged from 9 inches to a foot at Hauser, Spirit Lake, Athol and Sandpoint. Snow from this event contributed to a couple roof collapses in the Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene areas. Several boats at a marina in Coeur d'Alene were also damaged when a section of a roof collapsed from the weight of the snow. Several major roof collapses occurred throughout the rest of the month and into the first part of January in the Spokane area. By the end of December, at least 19 roof collapses were reported, with two direct injuries from falling debris and snow. Many businesses in the Spokane area closed to take preventative measurable for removing snow. The snow also contributed to natural gas leaks as snow or ice sheared off gas meters. Several flights were cancelled for both arrivals and departures at Spokane International Airport. Several slide-offs also occurred on Interstate 90. The Spokane area as well as Deer Park received the heaviest accumulations from this storm, ranging from nine to 11 inches. Other accumulations include eight inches in Inchelium, seven inches in Springdale, and four inches in Republic. A couple hundred Deer Park residents lost power as melting snow downed some power lines. This storm put Spokane over the top with the snowiest month since records began in 1893. Strong winds were also reported in the Palouse with this storm. Uniontown received 60 mph gusts, and Pullman and Lewiston recorded 59. In the Lewiston/Clarkston area, the high winds blew down several trees and power lines. The wind also caused minor damage to a business under construction in Clarkston.

2007: 7-12 inches fell in the central panhandle mountains and 4-6 inches fell in the northern panhandle extending into the early morning of the 31st. In this same time period, the Palouse was buffeted by heavy snow and 45mph winds. Blowing snow, drifting and whiteout conditions were reported, which closed Highway 195 just south of Pullman to the top of Lewiston Hill. State Route 272 from Colfax to the Idaho Border was also closed.

1996: A blizzard dumped 12-18 inches of snow over 15 hours in Okanogan county, including a record 10 inches at the Chief Joseph Dam. 3.33 inches of precipitation and 27.5 inches of snow fell at Plain, both records for the city for a December day. Many motorists got stuck in the snow. Winds of 20-35 mph caused snow to drift.

1995: Heavy snow and freezing rain caused around 30 accidents in central Washington. 1 person was killed. These accidents stopped traffic on the interstate. Ingalls Creek, just west of Wenatchee, received 7 inches of snow in 9 hours.

December 30th

2008: Snow Rollers near Medical Lake

December 31st

1992: Blizzard-like conditions, with 25-35 mph gusts, and less than 1/4 mile visibility forced many roads in Rathdrum, north of Coeur D'Alene, to close.