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Fog cuts visibility this morning

Tue., Oct. 20, 2009, 7:21 a.m.

A dense fog advisory and hazardous weather outlook were issued this morning by the National Weather Service for reduced visibilities on the higher bench elevations of the Inland Northwest.

The advisory was in effect for Spokane, Adams, Lincoln, Stevens, Pend Oreille and the eastern part of Douglas counties in Washington and Bonner, Boundary and the western portion of Kootenai counties in North Idaho.

The hazardous weather outlook covered a broader area of the region.

Today’s fog is different from the fog on Monday morning, which hung in the lowest-lying river valleys. This morning it is lifted to slightly higher elevations, forecasters said. Visibilities could be reduced to less than a quarter-mile, forcing drivers to slow down.

At Spokane International Airport, visibility had dropped to less than 400 feet at 7 a.m.

The airport reported that flights are on time.

The fog should begin to gradually dissipate as daytime warming reduces relative humidity below 100 percent.

Forecasters said another day with mild temperatures and a mix of sun and clouds is in store for the region in advance of a succession of Pacific rain storms on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Highs today should reach the upper 50s across the region with lows tonight in the upper 30s to near 40. Light southwest winds are expected.

The Inland Northwest is under the influence of a weak high pressure system in advance of a frontal system that’s oriented from south to north and is expected to draw subtropical moisture into the region Wednesday when the chance of rain in Spokane goes to 80 percent.

At 7 a.m., it was 39 at Spokane airport, 43 in downtown, 38 in Deer Park, 43 in Coeur d’Alene, 35 in Pullman and 41 in Sandpoint.

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