Moist southwesterly flow sets stage for towering thunderclouds
A flash flood warning has been posted for southeast Lincoln County until 7:15 p.m.
Officials reported flash flooding on Highway 23 between Harrington and Sprague from a thunderstorm at 5:19 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Storms were predicted to produce a half-inch to an inch of rain.
The severe weather comes as sunny skies this morning gave way to clouds, with the possibility of thunderstorms this evening as a moist southwesterly flow of air allows clouds to form.
Highs were expected to reach 89 degrees in downtown Spokane, 88 in Spokane Valley and 90 in Coeur d’Alene.
The clouds began showing after 11 a.m. as a storm impulse moves northward from Oregon.
The chances of thunderstorms are 30 percent today and tonight in the urban areas.
Southeast Washington, the Palouse region and North Idaho have greater chances of thunderstorms with the risk going to 40 percent tonight in Coeur d’Alene.
Pullman has a 40 percent chance of seeing heavy rain from thunderstorms today.
A red-flag warning for fire danger has been posted for southeast Washington, portions of northeast Oregon and the terrain on both sides of the Oregon-Washington border southwest of Tri-Cities.
Upper-elevation winds are flowing from the south, gathering up moisture from what forecasters are calling a “monsoonal flow.”
Daytime convection of the moisture under a storm impulse now over central Oregon could trigger thunderclouds and lightning.
The Oregon weather system was approaching the Washington border at 9:30 a.m.
A low pressure area that is typical of mid-summer has become established along coastal California and Oregon, and it is going to affect the weather over much of the next week.
Relatively weak storm impulses are likely to ride northeastward along the leading edge of the low and move across the northern side of a strong summertime high centered over the Continental Divide.
Highs later this week should reach the lower 90s on Thursday, middle 90s on Friday and upper 80s on Saturday with the chance of thunderstorms returning over the weekend.
At 7 a.m., it was 65 at Spokane International Airport, 63 at Felts Field, 61 in Coeur d’Alene, 59 in Deer Park and 64 in Pullman.
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