Fog lifted late this morning to reveal mostly sunny skies stained with moderate levels of air pollution in Spokane.
Highs should reach the lower 50s this afternoon after the morning started in the upper 20s in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. More fair weather is expected Wednesday and Thursday.
The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency reported that air quality had deteriorated to the moderate category with a reading of 65 on the air quality index due to fine particulates, including wood smoke. Wood burning was still being allowed.
Earlier today, drivers reportedly navigated a thick fog in some locales without problems.
In Spokane, the fog was generally below the hills on the north and south sides of the city ran up and down the Spokane River into northwest Spokane and as far east as Huetter.
The fog and air pollution are the result of a strengthening system of higher air pressure that created a lower-level inversion of colder air, a condition that prevents mixing and allows moisture to be held close to the ground.
The high, however, should bring fair weather through Thursday with a high today in the lower 50s and calm winds.
Lows should be in the lower 30s tonight.
A new Pacific Ocean storm is expected to move into the region late Thursday. Mild temperatures are going to accompany the arrival of the next storm with highs in the upper 50s on Thursday and lows in the lower 40s Thursday night.
The storm could be packing tropical moisture remnants from large disturbances several days ago in the western Pacific.
Snow levels will rise above the mountain tops before lowering during the weekend.
Gusty winds are possible Friday afternoon, and showers should continue into the weekend as the region falls under a broad system of lower air pressure.
At 7 a.m., the temperature was 28 at Spokane International Airport, downtown Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, 20 at Deer Park, 27 at Sandpoint and 29 at Pullman.