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Rain or snow showers today; nicer Wednesday

New storm on Thursday could bring strong winds

April showers have kept the Inland Northwest on the cool and wet side today.

The snow level across the region started out this morning at 2,200 feet in elevation, which is just below the level of Spokane International Airport. The snow level should rise into the mountains to 3,300 feet by mid-day.

About a quarter inch of snow was reported in Silverton in Shoshone County this morning. Strpng storms were also moving this afternoon across mountain areas of Northeast Washington and North Idaho and may include snow in the mountains and rain in the valleys. Thunder is also possible.

A cold pool of air left over from a storm system Sunday and Monday is creating the early-spring weather with highs today expected to reach about 47 degrees in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. That is several degrees below the normal high of 54 for today in Spokane.

Winds from the south today have been gusty in the vicinity of shower clouds. The showers should end after sunset. Lows tonight should drop to near freezing.

As higher air pressure rebuilds on Wednesday, the region should see warming temperatures into the lower 50s and drier conditions with mostly cloudy skies.

However, the improved weather will only be a short reprieve before another potent Pacific storm system moves on shore on Thursday bringing the chance of rain and gusty winds to the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for windy conditions across the Columbia Basin northward to Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. Sustained winds to 35 mph are possible with even higher gusts. That is below the strength of a storm on March 29 which caused gusts to near 50 mph across the region, toppling trees and bringing down power lines.

Friday and Saturday should be cool again, but partly sunny with highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s.

At 7 a.m. today, it was 34 at Spokane airport, 37 in downtown Spokane, 36 in Coeur d’Alene, 34 in Deer park and 35 in Pullman.