Clouds, showers start cooling trend

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2009, 7:31 A.M.

Clouds and showers today will signal the start of a cooling trend across the Inland Northwest, although temperatures will remain mild in the upper 70s across the region.

A rain shower moved across downtown Spokane at mid-morning and was drifting to the northeast toward Idaho about 11 a.m. It was not producing lightning. Southwest wind gusts to 20 mph were kicking up at Spokane International Airport in the lee of the shower clouds.

Forecasters said a risk of thunderstorms continues today across the mountains of northeast Washington and North Idaho.

An upper-level low pressure area is crossing the region from west to east today and is responsible for the current layer of clouds and showers.

As that system moves to the east, more sun is expected on Thursday through Saturday, but high temperatures will be dropping back to the mid-70s, which is normal for this time of year.

The chance of showers returns on Saturday night and Sunday with a weak low pressure system. Highs on Sunday may get to only about 71 in Spokane. Sunny, warm weather should return Monday and Tuesday.

Forecasters warned that computer forecast models are suggesting a fairly strong storm front could sweep across the region off a low in the Gulf of Alaska next Wednesday.

The high in Spokane was 79 on Tuesday, which is five degrees above normal.

At 7 a.m., temperatures were once again mild with 56 reported at Spokane International Airport and 60 at Coeur d’Alene Airport.

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