As more rain fell across the region today, forecasters said that yet another, stronger Pacific storm was barreling down on the Pacific Northwest.
A moisture plume extending from the offshore waters to well west of Hawaii was visible on satellite images this afternoon.
The rain that tapered off this afternoon will be on the increase again during the overnight hours, forecasters said. The storm will also bring milder temperatures, rising snow levels and windy conditions on Wednesday.
Rain chances are highest in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene between 11 p.m. today and 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Rain is also expected on Thursday after 11 a.m.
Lows tonight should be near 40.
Rain today began falling very lightly before 5 a.m. with a total of 0.13 inches measured at Spokane International Airport by 11 a.m.
This month is now the third soggiest March on record in Spokane at more than 3.15 inches of rain so far. The record is 3.81 inches in 1995.
Snow was expected at higher elevations today, and a few flakes were mixed with the rain at lower elevations this morning.
A warm front passing from south to north tonight will raise the snow level and increase temperatures through Friday.
Highs on Wednesday are expected to climb to the middle and upper 50s with highs of 59 on Thursday and 60 on Friday in Spokane.
Gusty winds to about 30 mph are possible on Wednesday with possible rain showers.
The warm front is forecast to stall over Western Washington for 24 to 48 hours raising the risk of flooding on rivers draining into Puget Sound and Hood Canal. A flood watch is in effect there. Also, an avalanche watch was upgraded and expanded to an avalanche warning for the Cascades and Olympics due to heavy snow accumulations.
Closer to home, the Little Spokane and St. Joe rivers could approach flood stage later this week, and all of the region’s streams and rivers will be high because of rain and melting low-elevation snow, the weather service said this afternoon.
It was snowing on Snoqualmie Pass this morning, but conditions were bare and wet this afternoon.
Locally, the weather is expected to dry out at times later in the week, but a chance of rain is possible on Thursday and again on Friday night.
A high wind warning was issued for the Kittitas and upper Yakima River valleys for Wednesday, including that portion of the Interstate 90 route through central Washington.
At 7 a.m., it was 36 at Spokane airport, Deer Park and Coeur d’Alene; 40 at Felts Field; and 39 at Pullman.