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Originally published Friday, April 3, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Spokane gets 7 inches of snow, pushing a record winter

Up to 7 inches of snow fell Thursday on parts of Spokane, pushing what was already a record total to nearly 100 inches for the winter.

The Associated Press

SPOKANE — Bing Crosby, who grew up in Spokane, dreamed of a white Christmas. Now residents are getting a taste of a white April.

Up to 7 inches of snow fell Thursday on parts of Spokane, pushing what was already a record total to nearly 100 inches for the winter.

There were numerous accidents on icy streets, and city snowplows were out in force. The snowfall shattered the record for the date, 1.2 inches in 1920.

"It is unusually heavy, but (snow in April) is not unheard of," said Matt Fugazzi of the National Weather Service in Spokane.

That's small consolation to residents sick of snow after two of the three snowiest winters in the city's history the past two years. Last year, 92.6 inches fell on the city.

"I've got to drive to work too," Fugazzi said.

Snow fell across Eastern Washington, with the heaviest concentrations running from Ritzville, Adams County, through the Palouse into the Blue Mountains.

At 10 a.m., snow amounted to 7 inches in Spokane, 6 inches in Whitman County and 5 inches in Stevens County, the weather service said.

Spokane set a record Sunday for the snowiest winter in the city's history when the total hit 93.6 inches, surpassing the 93.5 inches set in 1949-50.

Thursday's snowfall had not been measured officially as of midday but will only add to the total.

More snow could fall today, when the storm pattern is forecast to end.

While heavy snow in the spring is rare, this was not a record for lateness. Fugazzi said 3.5 inches fell on Spokane on May 11, 1967.

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Two consecutive heavy winters are rare but not necessarily a sign of things to come, he added.

"We cannot make an extrapolation for next winter based on what we've had," Fugazzi said.

Winter is winding down, with temperatures forecast for the 50s in coming days, he said.

"This can't keep up much longer," Fugazzi said.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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