A strong Pacific Ocean storm is poised to move into the Inland Northwest by tonight, but the weather today should be relatively mild and dry at the end of a nearly five-day run of calm weather.
The National Weather Service this morning issued a hazardous weather outlook for rain and wind on Friday, snowfall in the mountains this weekend and continuing blustery, showery conditions through Saturday.
Today, forecasters are calling for highs in the lower 50s with mostly cloudy conditions and a 20 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Winds should be light from the south.
Temperatures will stay mild tonight with lows in the middle 40s as the warm segment of the storm brings rain mainly after 10 tonight.
As a cold front passes on Friday morning, the region could see some thunderstorms combined with showers. Blustery conditions may develop with gusts from the southwest as high as 29 mph in Spokane and 30 mph in Coeur d’Alene.
The hazardous weather outlook said some gusts may reach 40 mph.
Highs Friday will remain mild in the upper 40s to lower 50s.
Mountain snow levels start to fall late Friday to about 4,400 feet and keep dropping to around 2,500 feet by late Friday and Saturday. That is low enough to bring the threat of snow to urban locations early Saturday.
Accumulations in the mountains could be healthy, forecasters said.
The weekend weather will be a continuation of stormy and cooler conditions, especially on Saturday when there is a chance of rain or snow before 10 a.m. and then rain only after that. The chance of precipitation Saturday is 70 percent during the day and 60 percent at night.
The chance of rain or showers continues into the middle of next week.
At 7 a.m., temperatures were 34 at Spokane International Airport and Coeur d’Alene, 35 at downtown Spokane, 28 at Deer Park, 27 at Sandpoint and 46 at Pullman.