Arrow-right Camera


Summer starts out wet, wet, wet

Mon., June 21, 2010, 8:23 a.m.

The first day of summer has been wet across the Inland Northwest with a flood watch being posted for parts of North Idaho earlier today.

That watch was lifted this afternoon, but some mountains in North Idaho have received 8 inches of rain more than normal in the past 30 days.

The summer solstice occurred at 4:38 a.m. today when the sun reached its highest point in sky of the Northern Hemisphere with sunset tonight at 8:52 p.m. and sunrise in the morning at 4:52 a.m. Today and Tuesday both will have exactly 16 hours of daylight.

That sun is going to have a hard time reaching ground in the Inland Northwest where a strong low pressure area continues to circulate moisture across the region. The moisture had curved around the low in a wrap-around fashion and was moving into the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas from the north.

At 1 p.m., radar images showed the most intense rainfall had moved south of the Spokane urban area and was running in a line from Rosalia toward the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Rain appears to have ended near Bonners Ferry as well as Lewiston. Deer Park reported no rainfall at 1 p.m.

Earlier, the heaviest showers were occurring from northwestern Spokane County eastward along the Interstate 90 corridor into Coeur d’Alene.

The moisture is a repeat of a pattern that had kept the region moist and cool during the latter half of spring this year.

National Weather Service forecasters said they expect a break in the storms starting on Tuesday and continuing on Wednesday.

But for today, highs may only reach about 60 with a 100 percent chance of rain showers in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas.

On Tuesday, temperatures warm into the lower and middle 70s and then increase to the lower 80s on Wednesday.

Weaker pulses of lower air pressure are expected to cross the region later this week and provide enough moisture in the atmosphere to raise a chance of showers starting at mid-day Wednesday through Friday.

Saturday and Sunday should be sunny with highs in the lower 70s.

As of 8 a.m., Spokane International Airport had seen a half inch of rain in the previous 24 hours, while Felts Field near Millwood has had 0.73 inches of rain. Fairchild Air Force Base is reporting 0.60 inches of rain.

Those amounts have increased by this afternoon. The airport has had an additional 0.10 inches between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. while Felts Field has had an additional quarter inch in that time.

Spokane has seen more than three-quarters of an inch of rain since midnight on Sunday.

Pullman has had 0.30 inches and Ephrata had a half inch.

In Idaho, 0.59 inches rain has fallen in the past 24 hours in Bonners Ferry and 1.20 inches of rain has fallen at the airport in Coeur d’Alene in the same period..

Similar amounts have fallen in northwestern Montana with about an inch reported in Kalispell and Glacier National Park with a half to three-quarters of an inch in Libby and Troy.

Click here to comment on this story »