Grab the raincoats and umbrellas: August rain has arrived.
Heavy showers greeted morning commuters today and continued in the afternoon with smaller cells of intense rain moving across the area.
The rain came as a cold front out of British Columbia sagged south across the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas.
The frontal band was drawing ample amounts of moisture off the Pacific Ocean, sending waves of rain along the Interstate 90 corridor at daybreak.
A second band of rain was seen on radar across southeastern Washington just south of Pullman and appeared to be increasing in intensity across the eastern Columbia Basin and Palouse by late morning. A lighter band moved over terrain from Omak to Republic.
National Weather Service forecasters said the showers were likely to continue through much of the day, but ease off later this afternoon in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. The frontal band was expected to continue its southward progression and then lose intensity by later tonight.
Highs of 73 in downtown Spokane and 72 in Spokane Valley, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene were expected today. Those are at least 10 degrees below normal for mid-August. Nighttime lows should be closer to normal in the lower 50s. Winds should remain light, but gusts could reach 18 mph in Spokane.
The chance of rain showers will continue on Thursday as an upper-elevation low follows today’s frontal activity across the Inland Northwest. The showers could include thunderstorms. The unsettled weather should continue into Friday, especially across mountain areas of the region, forecasters said. Highs will only reach the upper 60s to lower 70s through Friday.
Drier weather is forecasted for the weekend, although clouds will continue to shield the sun as a cool northwest flow replaces the low-pressure system on Saturday. Sun and highs near 80 are expected Sunday.
At 7 a.m., temperatures were mild with 60 at Spokane International Airport, 63 in Coeur d’Alene, 59 in Sandpoint, 62 in Otis Orchards, 62 in Pullman and 60 in Deer Park.
By mid-afternoon, the weather service had measured .13 inches of rain at the airport. Felts Field had .16 inches of rain.