Rain, wind to whip Inland NW by Sunday
The sunny side of autumn is going away today to be replaced by clouds and rain this weekend.
National Weather Service forecasters said clouds are likely today with a high of 59.
Some raindrops fell at daybreak over the Spokane area as the first in series of storm impulses crossed the region.
The weak system has left partly sunny skies in its wake. Highs today will likely creep up to about 59 or 60 degrees.
Today’s morning drops are just a start of what is heading toward the Inland Northwest.
A pair of strong Pacific frontal systems is moving toward the region with light rain expected early on Saturday before a stronger system arrives on Saturday night and Sunday.
The chances of rain are 70 percent on Saturday, 80 percent on Saturday night and 100 percent on Sunday.
Spokane and Pullman could see three-quarters of an inch of rain, and Coeur d’Alene an inch.
Wind gusts to 39 mph in Spokane and even stronger across the Palouse and Blue Mountain areas are expected on Sunday.
Saturday’s rainfall should be relatively light with a possible break later in the afternoon. Forecasters are calling for less than a tenth of an inch on Saturday. A quarter to half inch of rain is likely on Sunday.
Highs should reach the lower 50s with lows in the 40s both days.
Cold air arriving on a cold front Sunday may push snow levels down to highway pass levels on Sunday and to as low as 2,900 feet in elevation on Monday night. The mountain snowfall could be heavy, said forecaster Anthony Cavallucci.
Next week is expected to bring showers and cooler temperatures.
At 7 a.m., it was 44 at Spokane International Airport, 46 at Felts Field, 39 in Coeur d’Alene, 38 in Deer Park and 41 in Pullman.
The wind should scour out polluted air that settled over the Spokane region this week. Air pollution for the past several days was running in the moderate category, mainly because of wood smoke and other small particles,.