March 29, 2011 in City

Rain sets Spokane record for third-soggiest March

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The wettest March in 16 years shows no signs of letting up before the month ends Thursday night.

The National Weather Service said this March is the third wettest on record after 0.28 inches of rain fell Monday morning.

“The wet weather we’ve seen the past couple of weeks isn’t going to end soon,” forecaster Jon Fox said in a National Weather Service briefing on Monday.

Spokane International Airport, the city’s official measuring station, recorded 0.28 inches of rain by noon Monday, bringing the monthly total to 2.99 inches, which is more than double the normal amount for the month.

The record for March is 3.81 inches, set in 1995. The second-wettest March saw 3.75 inches in 1950.

A new storm system is likely to bring more rain to the region today, and the storm may persist into Wednesday when gusty winds sweep across the area. Winds up to 30 mph are possible Wednesday.

The next storm is expected to open the door to a push of warmer air Thursday and Friday, when highs in Spokane could break the 60-degree mark for the first time since Nov. 6.

Snow levels in the mountains will also rise with the milder weather, but a cool-down is likely in the mountains as well as lowlands by the weekend, Fox said.

The accumulating snowpack in the Cascades during March caused the National Weather Service on Monday to issue an avalanche watch for those mountains.

A snowboarder near Stevens Pass was killed when he triggered a snow slide on Sunday, the weather service said.

Spokane’s precipitation total since October is now at 14.39 inches, which is 4.11 inches more than normal for the period.


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