Arrow-right Camera


Heavy showers tracking across Palouse

TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2009, 1:46 P.M.

The National Weather Service issued a special forecast this afternoon warning of heavy showers with thunderstorms across the Palouse region of Washington and North Idaho.

One cluster was seen on radar moving toward Colfax, Garfield and Pullman about 2 p.m. and other clusters were located near Mullan, Calder and Kellogg.

The weather service said to watch for brief heavy rain, small hail and the risk of lightning. The showers were moving eastward at about 30 mph.

Radar also showed numerous heavy showers developing quickly across the Spokane region.

May is starting out to be a wet month in the wake of two rain storms since Saturday and another on the way Wednesday.

Forecasters are calling for a showers today – maybe even some thundershowers – in the cool and windy conditions left by the storm that dropped .20 inches of rain at Spokane International Airport overnight Monday. That added to another soaking storm on Saturday evening bringing the rainfall total in Spokane this month to a third of an inch.

Rainfall from the latest storm was even heavier in the Palouse region where a half inch was reported at Pullman and slightly more at Potlatch, Idaho. To the west in Moses Lake, rain was lighter at .15 inches.

In the upper Columbia Basin and Okanogan Valley, trained volunteers reported amounts of .20 to a half inch of rain.

Today, forecasters are calling for a 60 percent chance of showers in Spokane with blustery southwest winds at 15 to 25 mph and gusts to 35 mph. Highs will be in the upper 50s across the region and middle 50s on Wednesday.

Clear conditions over the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas this morning changed to showers this afternoon as cooler, unsettled air moved across the region.

Another dry period is expected at nightfall as higher air pressure moves across the region in advance of the next low pressure system tracking northeastward off the northern California coast. That low pressure area is expected to drive a wet front over the area Wednesday.

After that rain and mountain snow showers continue on Thursday until a pair of calmer spring days arrive on Friday and Saturday. The next storm system could arrive on Sunday, but forecast models indicate it is weaker.

The lows tonight and Wednesday night should be about 40 and then in the middle 30s on Thursday night.

Rivers across the region are expected to rise with run off from the rain and melting snow, but no flood watches have been posted. The Spokane River at Spokane was flowing at 15,800 cubic feet per second, which is slightly under the average for May 5.

At 7 a.m. today, temperatures were mostly in the upper 40s across the region with 48 reported at Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Pullman.

Click here to comment on this story »