Highs should reach upper 40s

Cooler weather coming this weekend; snow possible starting Wednesday night

Temperatures above normal for January are forecasted for today and the rest of the week, the National Weather Service said this morning.

Sun this afternoon should be accompanied by highs in the upper 40s. Lows tonight should remain above freezing in the middle 30s. There is a 20 percent chance of light rain tonight.

Sunny weather is likely on Wednesday with more mild temperatures.

Forecaster John Livingston said he’s hearing people describe the weather as April in January.

A 20 to 30 percent chance of snow or snow and rain arrives Wednesday night through Saturday with the potential for snow confined to late night and early morning hours when weather is the coolest.

Lows should fall back to the 20s by Saturday and Sunday nights, although highs should rebound to near 40 on Saturday through Monday.

An increasing chance of snow is possible on Monday.

A flood warning is in effect today for the Okanogan River Valley, including the cities of Omak and Okanogan. Runoff from recent storms has not been able to soak into the ground because of a frozen layer of soil, and the water is creating ponds and pools in low-lying areas. Small streams are also running high.

The parade of storms off the Pacific Ocean has moved south this week, leaving the Inland Northwest on the northern edge of the storm track. A stationary high pressure area over the Plains states and Canadian prairies is diverting storms mainly to the south of the region as the southern branch of the upper-level jet stream pushes storms across the Sun Belt this week.

A new high is expected to form along the West Coast later this week and change the upper-elevation winds from a southerly to a weak northwesterly flow, Livingston said.

The normal temperatures in third week of January in Spokane are 33 for highs and 22 for lows. The high on Monday in Spokane was 51, which was 3 degrees short of the record of 54 in 1919.

The high at Moscow-Pullman Airport on Monday was 50 degrees, which broke the previous record of 49 set in 1975.

The region is now moving out of the time of year when normal temperatures are at their lowest levels.

At 2 p.m., it was 45 at Spokane International Airport, 47 in downtown Spokane, 39 in Coeur d’Alene, 45 in Deer Park and 50 in Pullman. Walla Walla once again was the warm spot in the region at 58.

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