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Flood warning in effect for much of Inland Northwest

Hope you soaked up as much vitamin D as you could on Saturday. It’s going to have to last you a few days.

Today begins the first in a series of rainy days in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service. Rain should begin falling by 11 a.m., and will get quite heavy tonight. On Monday, showers are likely, but things should begin to dry out. Tuesday’s forecast sports a 20 percent chance of rain and mostly cloudy skies, with more of the same on Wednesday. The sun should return on Thursday.

The high hit 79 at the airport Saturday, but with the rain comes a cooling trend this week. Highs should hover in the mid- to high 50s until Thursday, when temperatures could hit 66.

With the warmer temperatures the past two days and the beginning of a significant rainstorm, meteorologists warn that area streams and rivers could begin overflowing their banks today and Monday.

“We already have flood watches out for most of the area for small streams,” said meteorologist Ellie Kelch with the National Weather Service in Spokane. “Some of the rivers will get very close to flood level. And some are going to go above flood level.”

A flood warning will remain in effect until 3:30 p.m. Monday for small streams in Spokane, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Chelan and Okanogan counties in Washington, and Kootenai, Latah, Benewah, Shoshone, Boundary and Bonner counties in Idaho. Flood warnings also have been issued for the St. Joe River at St. Maries and the Stehekin River at Stehekin, in Chelan County.

A flood watch continues for the Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo. The river could crest at 44.3 feet – 1.3 feet above flood stage – on Monday night.