Temperatures rising into the lower 70s on Wednesday gave residents of the Inland Northwest a taste of what spring can really be like.
But the mild weather was more of a break in the stormy pattern that has beset the region for months.
A cold front off the Pacific coast was expected to bring a sudden change in the weather overnight with highs today struggling to get to the lower 60s under mostly cloudy skies.
There is a 60 percent chance of rain showers in Spokane and 70 percent chance in Coeur d’Alene today.
Even that may seem mild compared with April, when the average temperature of 41.5 degrees ended up being second-coldest on record in Spokane. March was the third-wettest month on record with 3.25 inches of precipitation, including the water equivalent in 3.3 inches of snow.
Temperatures should rebound to the middle and upper 70s on Friday and Saturday with lows in the upper 40s both nights.
With the moist air, showers are possible Friday through Sunday with a slight chance of thunderstorms on Saturday night.
Even so, forecasters are calling for partly sunny skies on Friday and Saturday.
Sunday could be a wet and mostly cloudy day, with a 70 percent chance of showers in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene with highs near 63 or 64.
Cool and showery weather should return next week.
Some of the wettest weather through the weekend may be seen along the eastern slopes of the Cascades, where forecasters are watching for streams to rise quickly because of melting snow and runoff.
The milder air combined with rain could send North Idaho rivers over their banks, including the Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo and the St. Joe River at St. Maries on Monday.
The Kootenai and Moyie rivers will also be on the rise but are not expected to flood. The flow of the Spokane River also should go up.