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Storm drops quarter inch in 20 minutes at SIA

UPDATED: Wed., June 13, 2012, 3:49 p.m.

Spokane International Airport had a quarter inch of rain in just 20 minutes this afternoon when a line of thunderstorms dropped southward across the urban area during the noon hour.

Earlier today, thunderstorms brought heavy rain and hail today just to the north of Spokane to parts of northeastern Washington and North Idaho, the National Weather Service reported.

A small stream and urban flood advisory was issued at mid-morning and will extend through 3:30 p.m. for sections of Spokane, Kootenai and Shoshone counties and southern parts of Stevens, Pend Oreille and Bonner counties.

Rain this morning was reported from Francis Avenue northward, but Colville was dry.

The thunderstorms and flood advisory shifted southward this afternoon.

The Spokane airport had 0.39 inches of rain in the hour from 2 to 3 p.m., including the quarter inch that fell in 20 minutes just after 2 p.m.

Felts Field had 0.30 inches between 1 and 3:30 p.m.

Today’s storm occurred over a narrow band of terrain from west Spokane County eastward to northern Shoshone County with precipitation amounts ranging from 0.40 to 0.60 inches.

The weather arrived after thunder showers doused portions of the region Tuesday night. Reports show that upwards of a half to three-quarters of an inch were common across the region Tuesday.

One Spokane resident reported a huge deluge in the South Altamont area of Spokane on Tuesday night about 10:30 p.m. Another worker reported heavy rain in Deer Park Tuesday night.

Today’s storms are bringing continuing potential for frequent lightning strikes and small hail, the weather service said.

The storms have a history of producing three-tenths of rainfall per hour and could create flooding. The storms are coming from a low pressure center that passed over the Inland Northwest on Tuesday night and now is centered over southern Alberta.

Wrap-around moisture is bringing today’s storms in what forecasters call a deformation band or inverted trough of low pressure.

It is the third time in eight days that wrap-around storms have settled over the region. The others were last Wednesday and Saturday. Those two storms brought cooler air and light, steady rain.