Rain – some of it heavy at times – has been falling across the Inland Northwest this morning from a new Pacific storm system that is continuing the region’s wet spring.
Rainfall started in Spokane after 3 a.m. and has arrived in waves, with heavy rain falling between 6:30 and 7 a.m. today.
So far, 0.26 inches have been measured at Spokane International Airport as of 10 a.m., bringing the total since May 17 to about 2.3 inches.
National Weather Service forecasters said there is a chance of thunderstorms later today as an upper-level low pressure area swings cooler air into the region. Southwest winds could gust to 22 mph.
A pattern of showers, clouds and cooler temperatures should start tapering off Thursday night and Friday, and then a nice warm up is expected for Saturday through Monday with highs on Sunday reaching the lower 80s.
Forecasters said it will be the first spell of above-normal temperatures in nearly four weeks.
The average high in Spokane today is 72 and the average low is 48.
Highs today and Thursday may only reach the lower 60s with lows in the middle 40s. A warming trend begins Friday with highs near 70.
Tuesday’s high was 70 at the airport.
On the Kootenai River, forecasters today said they expect the Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry will rise to less than two feet below flood stage as a result of rain and melting snow.
The river should reach 62.2 feet at Bonners Ferry on Saturday, up from today’s level of 57 feet. Flood stage is 64 feet. Water levels are expected to remain high for at least a week.
Forecasters said plans for water releases at Libby Dam could change and that water levels and forecasts are being issued daily.
For the latest update, go to the Spokane weather service office at www.wrh.noaa.gov/otx/ and click on river statement or go to the rivers and lakes section.