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Drying trend starts today

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 12, 2011, 7:33 A.M.

Drier weather is now seen in the forecast with the chance of a spell of fine autumn weather to arrive next week.

National Weather Service forecasters said a weak ridge of higher air pressure will begin a slow process of pushing the Pacific storm track out of the region over the next several days.

Highs today should reach about 57 with winds lessening to 8 to 13 mph. The low tonight may dip into the upper 30s.

Thursday could be the nicest day of the week with mostly sunny skies and a high in the middle 50s and light winds.

The Pacific storm track may brush the region on Friday through Sunday with intermittent and fairly low chances of showers through the period. Clouds will accompany the disturbances. However, Saturday should be mostly sunny.

Highs through Monday will be in the middle to upper 50s with lows in the 40s.

A stronger ridge of higher pressure is likely to arrive later on Sunday, sending the storm track to the west and north of the region. It is possible next week could bring some of the nicest fall weather of the season with highs getting into the 60s, forecasters said.

However, a more recent computer forecast model shows the ridge breaking down after Wednesday, allowing a return of wet weather by the end of next week.

Warm days and cool nights will stimulate good leaf color on trees with a combination of warm days and cool nights.

Earlier this week, mild air pumped northward along a strong storm track brought a high of 61 to Spokane International Airport on Tuesday, but also strong winds. The peak wind gust was 41 mph at the airport.

At 7 a.m. today, it was 43 at the airport and 46 at Felts Field and in Coeur d’Alene.

Tags: weather

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