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Wet weather coming by nightfall

The Inland Northwest is about to enter a period of wet weather with the first in a series of mild storms sweeping into the region about sundown.

National Weather Service forecasters said that colder air across the region today could allow snow levels to drop as low as 2,500 feet, but then snow levels should retreat to the mountains later in the week as subsequent storms arrive.

A deep low pressure area in the Gulf of Alaska is expected to spin off several impulses of valley rain and mountain snow through Sunday night and possibly into Monday and Tuesday.

A cold front associated with the low should reach the Spokane area between 4 and 7 p.m. today. Snow could be mixed with rain this evening. Chances of precipitation are 50 percent this evening and Thursday going to 70 percent Thursday night.

Temperatures today should reach the lower to middle 40s in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene with lows near freezing. Winds should be light.

As the weekend approaches, highs will move upward to the upper 40s under a southwesterly flow with lows in the middle 30s.

Forecasters have said there is a chance the mild conditions will persist into next week when higher air pressure returns to the region and cuts off the moist Pacific flow.

At 7 a.m., it was 33 at Spokane International Airport, 34 in downtown Spokane, 32 in Coeur d’Alene, 30 in Deer Park and 35 in Pullman.