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Warm and sunny, with flood and storm warnings

UPDATED: Mon., April 23, 2012, 10:54 a.m.

Another beautiful spring day is shaping up today, but the warm weather also is accelerating the melting of mountain snow and causing some rivers to rise above flood stage.

In addition, scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon across the Lewiston area and into the Silver Valley of the Idaho Panhandle. Some storms may be long lived and strong, producing gusty winds, heavy rain and hail, the National Weather Service says.

Weather service forecasters issued a flood warning Sunday night for the Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo and the St. Joe River at St. Maries.

Warmer than normal temperatures, high snow levels and the potential for more rain will cause the rivers to rise above flood stage, the agency said.

Hazardous conditions exist on forest roads throughout the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Saturated soil has caused deep mud and unstable road beds, the Forest Service said.

Two national forest roads have been closed due to flooding and road damage. On the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District, Forest Road 1575 (the Beauty-Cedar Road) and Forest Road 805 (the West Fork Eagle Creek Road) are both closed due to extensive road damage and an extremely soft roadbed. They will remain closed until they are repaired.

Today’s high in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area expected to be in the low 80s. Tonight will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms after 11 p.m., with an overnight low around 57 in Spokane, 53 in Coeur d’Alene. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Tuesday’s forecast is for mostly cloudy skies in Spokane, with a high near 74. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Daytime highs will continue to drop and rain will become more likely as the week progresses: 69 on Wednesday; 54 and rainy Thursday; 53 Friday and Saturday.

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