March 15, 2011 in City, Idaho

Soggy day in store for Inland NW

By The Spokesman-Review
Mike Prager photo

In another sign that the season is changing, a flock of finches perches high in a tree in Lincoln Heights on Monday.
(Full-size photo)

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A mild and wet Pacific storm has moved inland this morning and is expected to bring between a quarter to a half inch of rain to Eastern Washington and North Idaho today.

Highs should reach the upper 40s later today with south winds between 10 and 13 mph in Spokane where rainfall started just before 6 a.m.

A cold front passing through the region late this afternoon will bring gusty winds to 22 mph tonight. Also, the cold front offers a chance for thunderstorms to develop in the Columbia Basin, forecasters said this morning.

Today’s storm should bring to a close a series of wet Pacific storms dating back more than a week.

The National Weather Service said this afternoon that the Little Spokane River is going to crest on Tuesday morning at about 6 feet on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Other smaller rivers and streams will also be running full from a combination of rain and snow melt. Flooding is not expected currently.

The National Weather Service said that the jet stream of upper elevation air is migrating southward into California and will start to steer storms in that direction.

Showers are likely on Wednesday and Thursday, and partly sunny skies are likely on Friday.

Highs should be in the upper 40s to lower 50s and lows in the lower 30s.

By Friday night, a new low pressure area moves inland from the Calilfornia coast and could trigger cooling temperatures and a chance of rain and snow by Friday night and Saturday morning as it draws in colder air from the east.

Forecasters said computer models show a possibility of another late snow storm over the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas this weekend.

At 7 a.m., it was 39 at Spokane International Airport, 40 in downtown Spokane, 36 in Coeur d’Alene and Deer Park and 39 in Pullman.

Spokane has seen 2.3 inches of precipitation, including melted snow, since Feb. 22.

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