Parts of Alaska were warmer Wednesday than North Idaho and Spokane, but that should change by Saturday.
Cold air pushing south from the Arctic sent temperatures plunging before dawn Wednesday, shattering the record for May 8 in Spokane.
The low was 27 degrees, compared with the previous record of 31 set in 1990. The high in Spokane Wednesday reached a mere 53 degrees. The average high for this time of year is 64 degrees.
In Anchorage, the high was 62 and the low was 43.
Because of the cold, forecasters sent out a special weather statement Wednesday calling for sub-freezing temperatures throughout North Idaho and Eastern Washington again this morning.
A hard freeze could damage fruit crops and kill tender vegetable and flower starts.
The record low comes after nearly a week of unseasonable cold in the Inland Northwest.
A deep low-pressure area over the Yukon has been pushing a stream of cold air into British Columbia and Alberta. That cold was reinforced on Tuesday, and Washington and Idaho were on the southerly edge of the chill.
Another cool day is expected today, but then forecasters said their charts show a big change coming.
“Let’s see if we can tell you some good news,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Milt Maas.
The air flow is expected to switch around and start coming out of the southwest, bringing above-normal temperatures and mostly sunny skies.
Highs are expected to jump into the mid-70s Saturday and Sunday. There is a 20 percent chance of afternoon showers on Mother’s Day.
Forecaster Debbie Danielson advises not to worry about the showers. If they arrive, they’ll be scattered around the area and shouldn’t last long.
“Just enjoy the warm temperatures,” she said.