March 30, 2010 in City, Idaho

Showers, thunderstorms follow Monday’s wind

By The Spokesman-Review
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Showers and a chance of thunderstorms between sun breaks are likely today in the wake of Monday’s rain and wind storm.

Cooler temperatures behind Monday afternoon’s cold front will drop the high today into the upper 40s, which is several degrees below normal for the end of March.

Breezy south winds are likely today with gusts to 22 mph.

Winds on Monday gusted to near 50 mph across the region and brought down trees and power lines.

For today, thunderstorms are possible once the sun gets a chance to heat up the lower atmosphere after about 11 a.m., forecasters said.

Clouds should thicken and begin to develop lift by early afternoon and gain the energy necessary for some thunderstorms, forecasters said. Cold air aloft combined with moist air rising from lower elevations should be enough to set the stage for the storms, they said.

Lows tonight should be near 30.

The National Weather Service said a series of small disturbances is expected to move through a broad trough of cool lower air pressure that has moved along the Pacific coast today.

That trend should bring new snow to the mountains during the day, but snow levels may fall to 2,000 feet in elevation tonight. Accumulations in valley areas at or above 2,000 feet are not expected.

Spokane Valley, the Coeur d’Alene area and the north and south sides of Spokane are at or above 2,000 feet.

The chance of showers of rain or snow continues until Thursday when the region will see something of a break in the cool, unsettled spring weather.

Another storm system arrives on Friday and could bring a renewed chance of spring snow to lower elevations.

Temperatures through the week should be in the upper 40s during afternoons and in the upper 20s for overnight lows.

Mountain areas are going to see several inches of snow accumulations for the lean snow packs so far this year.

With snow in the Cascades, the Washington transportation department is advising the use of traction tires on Snoqualmie Pass this morning and advising traction tires on Stevens Pass.

Lookout Pass on Interstate 90 at the Idaho-Montana state line had light snow and icy patches. Fourth of July Summit to the west also had icy patches, officials reported.

The normal high for today is 53 with the normal low at 33.

At 7 a.m., it was 34 at Spokane International Airport, 37 in downtown Spokane and Coeur d’Alene and 36 in Deer Park and Pullman.

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