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Warm weather continues through weekend

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2009, 7:34 A.M.

The chance of thunderstorms has diminished today, and the region can expect more warm sunny weather through this weekend.

Storms on Tuesday ripped across Bonner County in North Idaho and Pend Oreille County in Northeast Washington, taking down large trees and causing roof damage at several locations.

At Kalispell Bay on Priest Lake, the storm broke several trees and ripped tarps from boats. The top of one tree was thrown through the roof of a recreational vehicle. The metal roof on a house was lifted and bent. Other homes were also damaged. Idaho state Highway 57 between Priest River and Priest Lake was blocked from trees downed by the storm.

In Newport, damage was reported to the United Church of Christ. Many trees were uprooted.

The thunderstorms formed from a combination of warm humid air rising over the mountains with the uplift being accelerated by a weak low pressure system that moved southward out of Canada Tuesday afternoon.

That low pressure system is keeping the Inland Northwest relatively cool compared to the extreme heat being reported in western Washington and Oregon. Highs near 100 degrees are forecasted for Seattle today and Thursday. Sea-Tac reached a high of 97 on Tuesday.

In the Inland Northwest, highs today through Friday should range from the middle 80s to about 90 degrees.

Forecasters said the risk of thunderstorms may return to the forecast Friday evening when a relatively weak low pressure system is expected to move southward out of Canada, bringing a mix of sun and clouds for the weekend. Highs Saturday and Sunday should warm several degrees into the lower to middle 90s, forecasters said.

An afternoon storm that triggered a tornado warning from the National Weather Service, but did not spawn any twisters that were reported.

no reports of tornados

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