Today is going to be the last in a string of sunny autumn days as a high pressure area begins to move east, opening the door to what’s shaping up to be a major change in the weather.
National Weather service forecasters are calling for a high of 65 degrees this afternoon.
Some locales are likely to see fog this morning, including low-lying areas in valleys and near large bodies of water. Coeur d’Alene Sandpoint, Priest River, Bonners Ferry, Cusick, Metaline Falls and Kellogg may be among the areas with fog through mid-morning.
Air quality in the Spokane area was in the moderate range for pollution from wood smoke and other small particles in the air. The pollution is brought by a cold-air temperature inversion that holds pollutants near the ground during the overnight and early-morning hours when the atmosphere aloft is warmer than temperatures near the surface.
A strong storm system approaches the region on Friday, and is expected to initially send clouds inland before rain arrives later in the weekend. The high Friday under partly sunny skies should be about 59.
It’s not clear how much rain will fall on Saturday. One computer model indicates light rain during the day on Saturday.
But forecasters said they are sure that Saturday night and Sunday will bring wet and breezy to windy conditions from the strongest in a series of storm impulses this weekend.
Its associated cold front on Sunday should cause snow levels to drop in the mountains, and the weather service is cautioning hunters and other outdoors persons to prepare for wintry conditions.
Light amounts of snow could drop as low as 2,600 feet by Monday night as the region enters an unsettled and cool weather regime. Rain showers are likely in lower elevations early next week.
Forecasters said there is no indication of a return this season to the mild and sunny weather seen during much of the past month or more.
At 7 a.m., it was relatively mild compared with last weekend and early this week when freezing temperatures were seen.
It was 41 at Spokane International Airport, 38 in downtown Spokane, 37 in Coeur d’Alene, 29 in Deer Park and 46 in Pullman.