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Blowing dust advisory issued amid strong winds

Thu., July 22, 2010, 3:32 p.m.

The string of near-perfect summer days has come to an end as a low pressure system from British Columbia sweeps through the region.

Winds whipped up some dust this afternoon in the Spokane area with gusts reaching 37 mph, and the National Weather Service issued a blowing dust advisory for the Columbia Basin and Whitman County.

Coeur d’Alene will see wind gusts to 26 mph, but forecasters said they expect the Lake City to be free of blowing dust.

In Grant County, the following roads were closed because of blowing dust:

• Stratford Road, northbound at County Road 18-NE and southbound at the town of Stratford (County Road 22-NE).

• County Road 20-NE at County Road I-NE (about five miles east of Soap Lake).

The winds were expected to die down after 8 p.m.

The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Bonner County around 3:40 p.m.

Across the region, partly sunny skies were in the forecast with a high in the lower 80s.

The cold front today should keep things from heating up too much on Friday when the sunshine returns and highs go into the middle 80s.

The hottest period of the year so far is expected this weekend when highs reach the lower to middle 90s on Saturday and Sunday.

The heat wave continued on Monday and Tuesday with more 90-degree temperatures and then eases a bit on Wednesday when the highs go back to the 80s.

At 7 a.m., it was 63 at Spokane International Airport, 67 at Felts Field, 63 in Coeur d’Alene, 58 in Deer Park and 66 in Pullman.

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