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Light rain today could turn heavy Thursday

Wed., May 26, 2010, 7:35 a.m.

Showers likely to linger into weekend

A period of wet weather has descended on the Inland Northwest today as a new Pacific low pressure area moves onshore and circulates moisture northward from Oregon and California.

Light rain has been falling across Spokane since this morning, and forecasters said there is a chance of a thunderstorm later today.

An even stronger pulse of rain is likely on Thursday as the larger low sends wave No. 2 across the region.

Forecasters said a quarter to a half inch of rain is possible in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. The forecasters are so confident that rain is coming they’ve pegged the chance of precipitation at 100 percent for Thursday. Highs will only reach the middle 50s.

For this afternoon, a hazardous weather outlook was posted for much of the region from Spokane southward, including the Idaho Panhandle mountains east of Coeur d’Alene for the risk of strong thunderstorms.

Highs today should reach the middle 60s under a mild southerly flow and lows tonight are expected to drop to a seasonal 45 degrees.

The rain this week should be enough to allow residents to stop lawn and garden irrigation for several days.

As the storm evolves it is expected to form an upper-level low pressure area over Eastern Washington later on Thursday, which will keep the weather cool and showery through Saturday.

Improving conditions are expected on Saturday night through Monday with chances of showers in the 20 to 30 percent category. Temperatures should warm to the upper 60s or lower 70s both days.

At 1 p.m., it was raining in Spokane and cloudy in Coeur d’Alene. Temperatures were 54 at Spokane International Airport, 58 in downtown Spokane and 66 in Coeur d’Alene.

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