One more cool and wet day is in store for the Inland Northwest until a system of higher air pressure this weekend drives away the latest in a string of springtime storms.
Heavy thunderstorms were reported in the Davenport and Reardan areas this afternoon, and forecasters were warning about potential flooding along roadways from heavy runoff.
National Weather Service forecasters are calling for highs today near 60 with a 70 percent chance of showers in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. Isolated thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon.
Temperatures improve on Friday and the sun comes back by Saturday.
Wednesday’s rainstorm brought a quarter-inch of precipitation to Spokane International Airport.
A funnel cloud was reported north of Creston in Lincoln County on Wednesday afternoon, caused by moisture rising from the lower atmosphere into cold air and wind moving from a different direction.
Ephrata in Grant County set a daily record for rainfall with 0.17 inches of rain on Wednesday, breaking the previous record of 0.12 inches set in 2004.
Moses Lake also saw record rainfall with 0.34 inches reported, breaking the old record of 0.25 inches in 1972. Record keeping in both cities began in the late 1940s.
Friday should see some improvement in the weather with temperatures rebounding to the upper 60s under mostly cloudy skies. A 30 percent chance of showers is expected in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas on Friday.
Lows tonight and Friday night should be in the middle 40s.
Some of the best weather in nearly a month is expected this weekend as sun brings highs in the middle and upper 70s on Saturday and then the upper 70s and lower 80s on Sunday.
A weak storm wave should cool the weather again on Tuesday, but that system is expected to bring mostly clouds and some wind gusts with a slight chance of showers before another warm-up arrives later next week.
At 7 a.m., it was 47 at Spokane International Airport, 51 in downtown Spokane, 48 in Coeur d’Alene and Deer Park and 50 in Pullman.
Officials across the region, including Idaho, continue to watch stream flows.
A flood watch was posted for central Idaho in Idaho County until 11 p.m. today as the storm that passed over the Inland Northwest moves eastward today, dropping potentially heavy rain in short periods. Forecasters are warning against flooding along roadways.
On the Kootenai River, forecasters today said they expect the Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry will rise to less than three feet below flood stage as a result of rain and melting snow.
The river should reach 61.6 feet at Bonners Ferry on Saturday, up from today’s level of 58.8 feet. The river rose 1.7 feet since Wednesday. 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.
In addition, National Weather Service river forecasts can be found at www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/ and real-time stream data at waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/rt.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the Little Salmon River near Riggins went above flood stage last weekend, flooding fields near New Meadows, Idaho, according to a USGS press release.
The Payette near Payette, Idaho, rose from just over 6.5 feet on June 3 to a crest of 13.69 feet on Sunday, the USGS said.
“The Payette’s flow during the same period increased 265 percent, from 6,190 cubic feet per second on June 3 to 22,600 cfs on Sunday. Cities all along the Payette experienced flooding as the river overflowed its banks. McCall received more than 2 inches of rain on June 6. The dam at Browns Reservoir failed, created a major flood on the river’s Lake Fork that destroyed the USGS gaging station and damaged bridges and homes downstream,” the press release said.