April 20, 2012 in City, Idaho

Warm weekend to unleash snow pack

By The Spokesman-Review
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The National Weather Service is warning this afternoon that a significant period of warm weather through Tuesday is going to send streams and rivers higher - some to flood stage - over the next several days.

A distinct change in weather from a cool Pacific flow to a warm and somewhat humid southwesterly flow is underay.

Temperatures will reach the upper 70s in Spokane and other locations by Monday with the warm air lingering until the middle of next week.

With overnight lows in the lower 50s on Sunday and Monday nights, this will easily be the warmest weather of the year so far.

The warm up will trigger snow melt in the mountains, and in all likelihood, push the St. Joe River at St. Maries and the Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo should exceed flood stage by Tuesday evening.

In addition, other streams and rivers will reach full-bank flow across the region.

They are the Moyie, Kootenai, Grande Ronde and Spokane rivers. In addition, water will fill Lake Coeur d’Alene before sending it down the Spokane River.

Forecasters said the low pressure system that pumped the moisture into the region overnight will veer even more to the southwest allowing warmer air from desert areas to work its way northward starting on Saturday. At the same time, the Pacific storm track shifts well to the north.

In Spokane, highs are expected to be 66 on Saturday, 77 on Sunday and 77 on Monday, dropping back to the lower 70s on Tuesday and middle 60s on Wednesday.

Coeur d’Alene may find itself a degree warmer each day.

Clouds and even some fog Saturday morning should give way to mostly sunshine by Saturday afternoon with mostly sunny skies on Sunday and Monday. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoons on Monday and Tuesday.

In the landscape, the warmup is sure to send all of the sluggish spring buds into bloom and turn up the spring color. It may also send back the swallows, which have yet to show up in downtown Spokane.

The moist soil will help ease the chore of removing weeds and dead plants gardens and landscapes.

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