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Thunderstorms due over region tonight, Friday

A wave of thunderstorms moving northward from Oregon is expected to cross the Inland Northwest tonight through mid-day on Friday, increasing the risk of lightning-caused fires.

The National Weather Service issued a “red flag warning” for fire danger from 11 p.m. through 2 p.m. on Friday across all of Eastern Washington, North Idaho and western Montana.

Wind gusts to 20 mph are possible with the storms.

A low pressure area that was stalled this week along the California coast is being pushed onshore and northeastward by a change in the weather pattern in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

As the wave moves northeastward it is expected to trigger thunderstorms initially in Oregon and then across the Inland Northwest, forecasters said.

The storms are expected to move through the region relatively quickly, but each storm cell has the potential to bring brief heavy rain beneath it. Otherwise, a tenth of an inch of rain is possible.

Spokane has a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight and a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms on Friday morning.

The storms should drop temperatures from a forecasted high of about 90 today to a high of near 80 on Friday.

Another low pressure area from the Pacific is going to bring clouds and a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms on Saturday through Monday. Highs will remain in the 80s with lows near 60.