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Heavy skies to drop more rain

Heavy skies will continue to bring rain to the lower elevations of the Inland Northwest today through the holiday weekend, forecasters said.

A one-two punch of Pacific storm systems is lined up to the southwest of the region, and is predicted to move through the area later today and tonight.

The wet weather will continue off-and-on into early next week with highs running in the middle to upper 40s and lows in the middle 30s in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Winds should be light for the next few days.

Snow levels today will go from 2,500 feet north of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene to 3,500 feet later today. To the south, mountain snow levels will rise to 4,500 feet.

Forecasters said there is a chance that a mix of snow and rain could reach the lower elevations in valleys closer to the Canadian border.

A low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska is creating a series of “short-wave” storm systems and bringing them across subtropical waters off the California coast northeastward into the region.

The trajectory is aided by higher air pressure along the western U.S. which is guiding the storm track in a pattern that has been repeating itself since early January.

The average high for the second week in February is 38 degrees. Temperatures could reach 48 degrees by Saturday and 50 by the middle of next week.

An El Nino warming of the tropical Pacific is seen as the cause of the mild weather.

Spokane International Airport has seen 12.8 inches of snow this season, the majority of it coming in December. That compares with a normal of 36.7 inches by this time of the season.

Rainfall amounts overnight were light. The Spokane airport had 0.05 inches of rain by dawn.

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