National Weather Service forecasters said gusty northeast winds should peak this afternoon, and they cautioned campers in the region to take precautions against potentially damaging gusts.
Steady winds at 20 mph and gusts to 31 mph were reported at mid-morning at Spokane International Airport.
Steady winds ranging from 20 to 30 mph were expected across much of Northeast Washington and North Idaho with the peak of the wind storm arriving this afternoon.
Powerful gusts to 55 mph are possible in constricted valleys and canyons in and near mountain areas north and northeast of Spokane. A high wind warning is in effect for those areas.
Forecasters said the winds could be a hazard to campers getting an early start on the Memorial Day holiday.
A wind advisory was issued for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas as well as portions of the upper Columbia Basin and northern Palouse.
The advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. The high wind warning to the north and northeast is in effect until 5 a.m. Saturday.
A low pressure area moved into the Great Basin ovenight, sending an unusual trough of lower air pressure northward. Higher air pressure to the north was filling the void created by the low and sending dry, but mild arctic air southward.
The weekend weather is shaping up to be a mix of sun and clouds with mild temperatures during the day and cool readings overnight. Highs should be in the middle 60s with lows in the middle 40s. A chance of showers or rain is also in the forecast for Sunday and Monday.