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Colder air due over region

A dip toward winter temperatures started this morning across the Inland Northwest and should continue well into next week, National Weather Service forecasters said.

The 7 a.m. temperature at Spokane International Airport was 23 degrees.

Sunshine is likely for the next several days as the Pacific Northwest falls under a northerly flow of Canadian air.

Highs today should get close to 40 with the warming effect of the sun, but as the northerly flow deepens, temperatures will fall by several degrees on Saturday through Tuesday. Lows should be in the lower 20s with highs in the lower 30s.

Northwest winds to 10 mph are expected in Spokane today.

No precipitation is forseen through the middle of next week.

Air stagnation is expected to become a problem, and air pollution levels will likely rise. This morning, Spokane reported air pollution on the low end of the moderate range.

Already, the weather service has issued an air stagnation advisory for the western portion of the Columbia Basin to the east slopes of the Cascades along with south-central Washington.

However, the dry flow of air from Canada is expected to keep the moisture level in the atmosphere low enough to prevent formation of fog or low stratus, which are characteristic of cold, stable weather in the region.

At mid-week next week, an arctic cold front swings southward with the northerly flow, but current computer forecast models show that the brunt of the brutal cold will be shunted east of the Rockies, with only a portion of the freeze brushing the Inland Northwest.

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