May 7, 2009 in Idaho

Funnel clouds spotted Wednesday, showers today

By The Spokesman-Review
Brian Schorzman (via KHQ-TV) photo

A funnel cloud descends from a severe thunderstorm over farm country west of Odessa in Lincoln County on the evening of May 6. Another funnel cloud was spotted later from the same line of storms north of Davenport. As the storms moved eastward, a powerful downdraft whipped up damaging winds south of Deer Park. A funnel cloud becomes a tornado when it touches ground.
(Full-size photo)

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Scattered showers and a chance of thunderstorms are expected across the Inland Northwest today in the wake of Wednesday’s heavy rainfall that included several incidents of severe weather, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters this afternoon warned of building thunderstorms across Eastern Washington and North Idaho, and said they could contain winds to 40 mph and small hail.

On Wednesday evening, funnel clouds – the precursor to tornadoes – were reported at two locations in Lincoln County. One was spotted 16 miles northwest of Odessa at 7 p.m.; the other was seen 8 miles north of Davenport at 8:30 p.m. Both reports were relayed to the weather service by law enforcement agencies.

A funnel cloud becomes a tornado when it touches ground.

In addition, wind from a thunderstorm blew off part of a shop roof on Wild Rose Prairie south of Deer Park and shingles off the roof of a nearby home. Hail and heavy rain fell in north Spokane County after 9 p.m.

Forecasters said they don’t expect a repeat of such severe weather today, although a cold pool of air is expected to move across the region through the day, creating the risk of thunderstorms, winds and hail as it moves across the relatively milder air at the surface. The upper low pressure area that contains the cold air is expected to move east by late afternoon, reducing the risk of severe local storms later in the day.

The highs today in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene should be 52 to 54 degrees with breezy conditions. Lows tonight are expected in the mid-30s with Spokane forecast to hit 35. The chance of showers diminishes tonight and improving weather is seen for the next several days with highs over the weekend in the middle to upper 60s.

At Spokane International Airport, the weather service reported .14 inches of rain Wednesday, bringing the monthly total so far to .49 inches, which is .19 inches above normal.

The reporting station at Deer Park had .37 inches of rain from the heavy storm about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, and recorded .74 inches of rain by midnight.

Pullman had .44 inches of rain, and Moses Lake had .04 inches.

At 7 a.m. today, temperatures across the region were in the upper 30s to middle 40s, including 40 at the Spokane airport.

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