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Washington dry spell ending, rain on the way

THURSDAY, OCT. 11, 2012, 6:44 A.M.

SEATTLE — Washington residents can say so long to what’s left of summer.

The National Weather Service says the dry spell is ending as the pattern changes this weekend to rain, showers and gusty winds.

Forecasters say the first of a series of Pacific systems will move through the state Friday night, and another system on Sunday brings the potential for heavy rain on the coast and mountains. Another system on Monday could bring winds to Western Washington.

Heavy mountain rain could help douse stubborn forest fires.

In Eastern Washington, forecasters say the best chance for rain is Sunday and Monday with cool, showery weather continuing into next week.

Spokane has a 20 percent chance of rain tonight and 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday from the first of two expected storm systems this weekend.

The second and wetter storm brings a 60 percent chance of rain on Sunday and an 90 percent chance on Monday.

Temperatures will be mild during the storms, which will carry subtropical moisture into the Pacific Northwest. Highs should run in the 60s with lows in the middle and upper 40s.

Cooler weather returns next week.

Spokane International Airport last had measureable rain on Aug. 21 when 0.13 inches fell. The weather service said the period from Aug. 1 to Oct. 10 was the driest on record for Spokane. Records were reported in numerous other locations in the Eastern Washington region.

Forecasters say high temperatures this weekend will be near 60 in Western Washington and around 70 in Eastern Washington with lows in the 40s.

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