March 24, 2011 in City, Idaho

Clouds lift to show afternoon sun

By The Spokesman-Review
Mike Prager photo

A hellebore, also known as Lenten rose, gleams in late afternoon sun on Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

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Sunshine and mild temperatures are bringing early spring weather to much of the Columbia Basin and Spokane region this afternoon.

The temperature at Spokane International Airport at 3 p.m. was 52 under partly sunny skies.

Elsewhere, it was 54 at Felts Field, 53 in Deer Park, 54 in Pullman and 63 in Tri-Cities. Sun was reported throughout the basin area.

However, some showers were developing underneath cumulus clouds late this afternoon, and a weak disturbance with showers has moved into the Tri-Cities area while another chance of potential stormy weather is developing from Ritzville to Ephrata, forecasters said, adding that lightning strikes are possible.

Light rain fell earlier today across portions of the Inland Northwest from a storm pattern that is expected to bring more rain after 11 a.m. Friday and continue into next week.

National Weather Service forecasters this afternoon said the chance of rain on Friday in Spokane is 70 percent and 60 percent in Coeur d’Alene.

A low pressure area off the Pacific coast is streaming moisture from south to north along the east side of the Cascades and across the Inland Northwest in a series of waves.

Those disturbances should move around the offshore low through the weekend, bringing mostly showers, but also some dry periods with nicer weather through Tuesday.

Temperatures over the weekend are expected to be cool enough that wet snow accumulations are possible in higher terrain of the Columbia Basin and Spokane urban area during pre-dawn and early morning hours.

Winter driving conditions are expected over mountain passes this weekend, and the weather service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for that possibility.

While rain is likely in the valleys, snow is likely in the mountains.

At 7 a.m., it was 40 at Spokane International Airport, 41 at Felts Field, 37 in Coeur d’Alene, 39 in Deer Park and 40 in Pullman.

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