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Hotter weather to end with Thursday wind storm

Today and Wednesday will see the Inland Northwest returning to summer conditions, but a cold front moving onshore Thursday should change the weather dramatically, the National Weather Service said.

Highs today should reach the lower and middle 80s in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas and then into the lower 90s on Wednesday.

Warm weather continues on Thursday as a potent cold front arrives from the North Pacific Ocean.

It is expected to sweep across the region during the day with winds increasing several hours before the front arrives in the Spokane area before 10 p.m.

Blowing dust is all but a certainty, forecasters said.

Winds will whip up during the day at 18 to 26 mph with gusts peaking in the 30 to 37 mph range. By the time the cold front arrives, the sustained winds will increase to 20 to 28 mph with gusts running from 35 to 45 mph, forecasters said.

Power outages and blowing dust are possible once the winds get that fast.

Forecasters are also warning that the dangerous combination of hot weather on Wednesday and Thursday combined with high winds will bring extreme fire conditions. Warnings were pending, they said.

Once the weather settles down, the low pressure area behind the front will bring much cooler air to the region and autumn-like conditions at some spots.

Snow may fall as low as 6,000 feet in elevation in the North Cascades and overnight freezing temperatures are possible in sheltered northern valleys, including Priest Lake, Deer Park, Republic, Springdale and Chesaw.

Spokane is forecasted to see a low of 39 on Friday night.

The cool air remains through the weekend with highs reaching the lower and middle 70s on Friday through Sunday.

Rain is not expected, although the cooler air and unstable conditions in the atmosphere could cause showers to form over the weekend. Forecasters are calling for a 20 percent chance of showers in Spokane on Saturday and Sunday.

At 7 a.m., it was 53 at Spokane International Airport, 49 at Felts Field, 50 in Coeur d’Alene and Deer Park and 55 in Pullman.

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