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Cool weather is forecast for race

Thu., May 3, 2012

The National Weather Service is forecasting a Bloomsday not unlike many of them in past years: cool and cloudy.

Race time temperatures in the middle to upper 40s with light wind should be followed by a high of 60. The early morning hours are forecast to be dry and partly cloudy, but a 20 percent chance of showers creeps into the forecast by late morning even as cloud cover diminishes.

Bloomsday may be a day too early. Monday and Tuesday are expected to see sun and highs in the upper 60s or lower 70s in what’s shaping up to be a modest warming trend next week.

Visitors to Spokane will get a chance to see Spokane Falls and the river at about four inches below flood stage, following more than a week of flows above flood stage ending on Saturday.

A look at past Bloomsdays shows that warm weather is an outlier.

Since 2005, the 8 a.m. race temperature was between 37 and 47 degrees with a 37-degree chill occurring a year ago.

The last legitimately warm race was in 2004 with an 8 a.m. temperature of 57 and a high of 76.

Rain has not fallen on race day since 2003, and even then it was only 0.02 inches.

Veterans may remember the race 10 years ago, when cold rain and snow pellets fell about 10 a.m.

The longest-running vets should recall the two warmest Bloomsdays in 1977 and 1980, when the highs reached 81, or the coldest race days in 1984 and 1999 when the highs only got to 47.

The 1984 race is still well remembered for its snowfall.

But the coldest 8 a.m. temperature was 34 in 1988. The strongest winds were in 1990 with gusts up to 31 mph during the race.

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