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Thunderstorm moving through Spokane region

Mon., June 8, 2009, 7:43 a.m.

A thunderstorm with moderate to heavy rain moved across the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas this morning, dropping a quarter inch of rain across the urban area.

Forecasters said that as the storm moved into North Idaho, it had potential to bring hail and cloud-to-ground lightning. A line of storms from the system was moving southward toward Pomeroy and Lewiston early this afternoon with the same potential hazards.

Heavy rain and a few high-based lightning flashes were reported about 8 a.m. as the storm moved from Stevens County into Spokane County, said Rocco Pelatti, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Spokane.

The heavier rainfall was apparently localized. Nearly a quarter inch of rain fell at Felts Field and Coeur d’Alene Airport, while Spokane International Airport had .09 inches.

A second wave of rain developed northwest of Spokane in Stevens County as of 11 a.m., but was weakening as it moved toward the Spokane urban area. A break in the rain is likely after that, based on radar images.

The cooler June weather more typical of the Inland Northwest is going to persist today and Tuesday, but a slight warm up is expected as the week wears on.

Showers and a chance of a thunderstorm are in the forecast through today with a high of 68 expected in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

The rain storm today was being funneled into the region by a low pressure area in southern Canada that had initially brought the cooler weather to the region over the weekend, including an intense round of severe thunderstorms in the upper Columbia Basin on Saturday.

Sunday’s high at Spokane International Airport was 66. The normal high for Spokane today is 71 with a low of 48.

A relatively weak ridge of higher air pressure should move into the region by Wednesday and allow temperatures to climb into the 70s on Tuesday and into the low 80s on Wednesday through Saturday. A chance of showers will continue through much of the week, but remain fairly low in the 20 percent range.

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