May 27, 2010 in City, Idaho

Rainfall record falls in Spokane

Old record dates to 1898
By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Raindrops gather on a petal of a peony on Thursday, May 27, 2010, in Spokane’s Manito Park. Unseasonably cool temperatures and rain is expected to continue on Friday.
(Full-size photo)

On the Web
Weather:Washington | Idaho

Traffic:Street cameras

Highway information:Idaho | Washington | Montana | Oregon

Spokane set a new rainfall record today, and light rain was still falling late this afternoon.

A total of 0.95 inches of rain was recorded at Spokane International Airport through 4 p.m. today, just shy of the record of 0.84 inches set in 1898.

The soaking rain is coming from a reinvigorated storm system that developed over the Inland Northwest today, spreading ample moisture throughout the region.

A hazardous weather outlook was posted today for all of Eastern and Central Washington and North Idaho for rainfall amounts of up to one inch in valley locations, with heavier amounts in the mountains and lighter amounts in the heart of the Columbia Basin.

Heavy rain was falling before 10 a.m. at Spokane International Airport and in downtown Spokane.

Radar images showed the heaviest amounts southwest of Spokane near Cheney and Medical Lake and the Interstate 90 corridor and in southern Stevens and Okanogan counties.

Cheney, Nespelem and Wellepinit all had an inch of rain by 4 p.m.

Fairchild Air Force Base had 0.73 inches by 3 p.m.

Coeur d’Alene had 0.4 inches of rain by 4 p.m., most of it falling this afternoon.

Highs were barely reaching the lower and middle 50s. Lows will continue in the lower to middle 40s through the week. On Monday, Spokane set a record low of 32 at the airport.

The storm could bring another quarter-inch of rain tonight to Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

Then, rain is expected to ease to a 60 percent chance of showers on Friday as a broad low pressure system along the western U.S. causes another storm feature to form over the northern portions of Eastern Washington.

However, forecaster Jon Fox said another quarter-inch of rain could still fall Friday.

Residents should feel safe turning off their sprinklers for up to a week or longer and save on local water supplies as well as the cost of watering.

Improving weather is seen on Saturday when the chance of showers drops to 30 percent, but highs will be cool near 60.

Sunday and Monday should see nicer weather, although with so much moisture falling this week there continues to be a risk of daytime showers. Highs on Sunday and Monday are expected to reach the upper 60s with a 20 to 30 percent chance of showers.

Fox said computer models are hinting that precipitation chances could increase again on Monday.

The cool May weather brought a pair of records regionally. Omak tied a record for its coldest maximum temperature on Wednesday at 57. The last time it was so cool was in 2006. Records have been kept there since 1931.

In Wenatchee, the rainfall record for the date was blown out on Wednesday with .47 inches falling compared with the previous record of .26 in 1998. Records have been kept there since 1959.

There are 11 comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email