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Highs to stay above normal

A weakening storm is approaching the West Coast today, bringing cloudy and above-normal temperatures to the Inland Northwest.

Highs were approaching 40 degrees in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene this afternoon from a weak southerly air flow in advance of the system.

The weather should remain dry through the daylight hours today.

The chance of rain in the lower elevation increases from 10 percent tonight and Saturday to 60 percent on Saturday night. Snow is likely in the mountains over the weekend. Precipitation amounts are expected to be light.

Lows are expected in the 30s.

The forecasted temperatures are eight to 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.

The mild weather should continue through most of next week. Highs might go as high as the upper 40s by Tuesday when another weak storm system approaches the region.

The weather pattern for the past month has been consistent with the expected influence of an El Nino warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, a phenomenon that is present this winter and that causes storm energy to bend southward, leaving the Inland Northwest in a temperate backwash.

At 3 p.m., it was 38 at Spokane International Airport, 39 in Coeur d’Alene, 41 in downtown Spokane, 41 in Deer Park and 45 in Pullman.

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