"I take her everywhere," said Carol Stephens as she walks along the Centennial Trail in Coeur d'Alene holding Visa, her 4-year-old Chihuahua, on Monday May 13, 2013. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Weather change brings chance of thunderstorms

The warmest stretch of May weather since 2006 is giving way today to cooler and showery weather with a chance of thunderstorms arriving for several hours this evening.

Spokane International Airport reported a high of 80 on Sunday, the seventh consecutive day of 80 degrees or warmer. Today’s high may reach 69 under cloudy skies and a chance of showers.

The risk of thunderstorms arrives across the region about 5 p.m. today and will continue until about 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

An area running from extreme northeast Oregon across the central Idaho Panhandle into western Montana could see damaging hail of up to an inch in diameter with wind gusts to 60 mph.

In Spokane, rainfall amounts reached a quarter inch by 5 p.m. Another tenth of an inch is possible from lingering showers over the region.

Areas that experience thunderstorms could see higher precipitation amounts. The chance of precipitation today and tonight is 70 percent in Spokane and 80 percent in Coeur d’Alene.

Steady southwest winds of 7 to 17 mph could yield gusts as high as 24 mph.

Temperatures through the week will be mainly in the upper 60s with lows in the 40s. Conditions will be dry on Tuesday and Wednesday with a chance of showers returning on Thursday and Friday.

The last time Spokane and the Inland Northwest saw such a warm spell in May came in 2006 when Spokane airport had four straight days at 90 degrees or more plus two more days in the 80s.

There were only two days with 80 degrees or warmer in Spokane in May 2012 and none in that month in 2010 and 2011.

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