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Thunderstorms bearing down on Spokane area

Sun., Aug. 28, 2011, 8 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a short-range forecast this evening, warning of gusty winds followed by possible thunderstorms through about 10 p.m.

The line of storms is south of the Spokane area now, and is moving northward slowly.

Gusty outflow winds ahead of the storms are possible by 9 p.m. with sustained winds of 10 to 20 mph and gusts to 35 mph.

Lightning strikes have been visible to the south as of 9 p.m.

After the winds, the trailing thunderclouds will arrive about 30 to 45 minutes later. Brief downpours are possible with pea-sized hail.

Cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring in this storm, raising the possibility of wild land fire.

The forecast applies to Spokane County and its West Plains; southwest Kootenai County; Lincoln County and eastern Adams County.

After 11 p.m., forecasters are calling for a 30 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms are rotating northward with the counter-clockwise circulation from a closed low pressure area over north central Oregon this evening.

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