Rain is moving into the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas this afternoon as the third in a series of wet Pacific storms crosses the region today.
Radar images showed a band of moderate rain crossing the Columbia Basin to the southwest after an earlier pulse of subtropical moisture swept through Spokane this morning across the lower Basin and Palouse.
Forecasters said this afternoon’s weather system has the likelihood of bringing soaking rain into this evening.
National Weather Service forecasters are calling for a high of 54 in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene today.
Rain is expected to turn to showers later this evening.
On Thursday, forecasters said a pool of cold air aloft associated with an upper-level low could set the stage for thunderstorms, especially across the Palouse and lower Basin.
The unsettled spring weather should continue off and on into the weekend. Improving weather on Friday should signal the start of a warming trend as highs go back into the 60s from Saturday through Sunday with chances of showers and clouds all three days.
Lows on Thursday and Friday nights could fall to 35 degrees in Spokane, raising a risk of freezing temperatures in exposed locations of the region. Otherwise, lows should be in the low 40s through the weekend.
Prior to today’s storm, Spokane International Airport has recorded .35 inches of rain since Saturday. Rainfall since Oct. 1 is now 12.4 inches, or about a half inch above normal for the period.
Forecasters said the region’s rivers should be on the rise over the next few days as a result of the May rains.
The precipitation is good news in dry land farming areas of the Inland Northwest where late spring moisture is important to crop yields in the summer.
The average high and low for May 6 is 64 and 40 degrees respectively.
At 7 a.m., temperatures across the region were in the upper 30s to low 40s, including 40 at the Spokane airport and 39 in Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. Pullman was at 44.