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Chance of snow showers slight for today

The chance of rain or snow showers today appears slim, but a greater chance of wintry weather arrives on Thursday with the next Pacific storm system, forecasters said this morning.

A strong Pacific cold front on Monday has moved away from the region, drawing cool air over the Inland Northwest from the Gulf of Alaska today. That colder air includes pockets of turbulence and moisture that could arrive as cumulus shower clouds by late morning.

The National Weather Service said there is a 20 percent chance of showers after 11 a.m. today. Highs today should only reach the middle to upper 40s. Lows could dip into the middle 20s tonight.

A break in the October parade of storms comes tonight and Wednesday as a dry northerly flow sets up, but with a more stable air mass there is a risk of patchy fog overnight and in the morning on Wednesday. Highs continue in the 40s through the week.

The next in a series of wet Pacific storms approaches the region late Wednesday when a slight chance of snow is possible. The chance of snow or rain showers goes to 60 percent on Thursday morning as the storm arrives.

Snow in the mountains could fall across highway passes through the week.

Spokane saw about three-quarters of an inch of rain on Monday while Coeur d’Alene had about an inch. Mullan Pass east of Wallace on the Idaho-Montana state line had a record rainfall of 1.17 inches, more than doubling the previous record for the date of 0.47 inches in 1957. Records have been kept there since 1938.

At 7 a.m. today, the temperature was 32 at Spokane International Airport and downtown Spokane, 34 in Coeur d’Alene, 28 in Deer Park, 34 in Sandpoint and 35 in Pullman.

Spokane has had 2.25 inches of rain through Monday, which is nearly three times the monthly average of 0.81 inches through Oct. 26.

The rain in recent weeks has closed a moisture deficit this year. Spokane’s 12.19 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1 is slightly above normal for the year. Normal through Oct. 26 is 11.93 inches.