Warm air arrives ahead of storm front
Overnight lows were warmer than average highs
Mild temperatures at daybreak were coming from the warm sector of a broad Pacific storm system that is battering the West Coast this morning with wind, rain and snow in the higher elevations of the Cascades.
Temperatures at 7 a.m. were 54 in downtown Spokane, 50 at Spokane International Airport and 52 in Coeur d’Alene.
Forecasters are calling for a 70 percent chance of rain today in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene with highs in the middle 50s. Winds have been gusting into the teens and 20s across the region, with Hanford reporting a peak gust of 36 mph.
Average temperatures for today in Spokane are 40 degrees for a high and 29 for a low. The high Monday at the airport was 49, which was reported prior to midnight.
Temperatures throughout the night did not drop, but continued to warm up into the lower 50s.
Snow levels are rising in the northern mountains to 4,500 feet today, but then dropping back to 3,500 feet tonight. Snow levels in the central Idaho Panhandle mountains should go to 5,000 feet today, but back down to 3,500 feet overnight.
Cascade mountain passes were reporting rain and snow. Lookout Pass and Fourth of July Pass were reporting dry road conditions.
A strong low pressure system along the British Columbia coast is sending a cold front to the south and east with rain falling through western Oregon and northern California.
Ahead of the front is a swath of milder air being drawn northward in response to the lower air pressure.
National Weather Service forecasters said the cold front will slowly move eastward through the day, and once it crosses the Inland Northwest, it will bring a return to more seasonal temperatures in the lower 30s tonight and 40s on Wednesday.
The chance of rain continues tonight and returns again on Thursday and Friday as a parent low pressure center in the Gulf of Alaska creates another storm for the Pacific Northwest.
Cloudy weather and a slight chance of showers are forecasted for Wednesday.