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Spring arrives

Thu., April 3, 2014

It looks like the weekend is arriving four days too soon if you are hoping for some truly sunny and mild spring weather to get outdoors.

But that first big warm-up is close at hand following a few more days of rain, showers and high temperatures in the lower to middle 50s.

After that, forecasters see lots of sunshine with highs reaching the lower 70s by Tuesday.

Today’s forecast isn’t bad with increasing clouds and a high near 60.

Then, the first of two Pacific weather systems arrives tonight and lingers with a chance of showers through Friday.

A second system arrives on Saturday with a risk of more rain and showers.

A shadowing effect from the Cascades should limit precipitation in the Columbia Basin and east Cascade slopes. Precipitation chances are higher in the mountain areas north and east of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

Sunday should be a transition day from the wet, cooler weather to milder spring sunshine as high pressure starts to migrate onshore. Expect partly sunny skies and a high of 59 for Sunday in Spokane. Monday is another transition day, but several degrees warmer.

By Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures are likely to climb into the 70s with sunny skies.

Areas to the north and east of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene will be several degrees cooler next week while locations west and southwest of Spokane will be warmer.

In the mountains, snow levels are likely to hover at or above pass and lodge levels through the weekend. They may drop to 2,500 feet on Saturday, but rise again as a warm front crosses the region during the day Saturday.

At Silver Mountain, rain and snow are expected at 4,200 feet with all snow at higher elevations. The same goes for the mountains near Sandpoint, but snow levels will be several hundred feet lower.

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