The Inland Northwest should see a break today in the wintry weather that’s gripped the region for nearly two weeks.
A milder air flow off the Pacific Ocean has scoured much of the arctic cold from the Columbia Basin and adjoining valleys.
Highs today in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene should reach the lower 40s with only a 20 percent chance of rain. Otherwise, forecasters are calling for ample cloud coverage, although there is a chance of a sun break later today in the Spokane area.
Temperatures should remain in the upper 30s to lower 40s through Sunday.
A pair of milder Pacific storms should reach the region on Friday and on Sunday with rain and rain showers coming and going through the period.
Lows at night should stay at or just above freezing.
Some of the arctic air that moved across the region last week remains pooled up against the east slopes of the Cascades and in north-central Washington where a hazardous weather outlook is posted for freezing drizzle and light snow tonight, including Moses Lake, Coulee Dam and Omak. The risk extends eastward to Republic.
Rain was reported this morning at Snoqualmie Pass and freezing rain at Stevens Pass.
In Idaho, Fourth of July Summit was wet and Lookout Pass had mixed snow and rain.
Looking ahead to Christmas, forecasters said their computer forecast models are not giving them a good read on what will happen after Sunday night.
There is a chance that higher air pressure will form along the coast and allow cooler air to drift into the region, but there is also an outside chance that a storm may form with a mix of cold northern air and milder Pacific moisture, forecasters said.
At 7 a.m., it was 35 at Spokane International Airport, 38 at downtown Spokane, 37 in Coeur d’Alene, 34 in Deer Park and 36 in Pullman.