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Weather: Spring will be cooler, wetter than normal

March was certainly a wet month across the region.

At the Spokane International Airport, a total of 2.88 inches of rain and melted snow fell last month, compared to a normal of 1.61 inches. Since Jan. 1, Spokane has received 5.70 inches of moisture which is about an inch above normal. However, since Oct. 1, the airport has picked up a little more than 8 inches of moisture – the normal is about 10.50 inches.

I believe we’ll continue to see slightly wetter- and cooler-than-normal weather into May. But, there will be days with sunshine and mild to warm afternoons.

The spring in the Inland Northwest also means thunderstorm activity. An early and especially loud thunderstorm came through the region March 14.

The average number of days with thunderstorms in the Spokane area is 11, one to three per month from April to September. In Coeur d’Alene, the normal is 12 thunderstorms per season.

With precipitation predictions higher than usual for the next few months, I’m predicting approximately 15 to 18 days in Spokane and surrounding areas with thunder, heavy rains, hail and even damaging winds.

Although, it’s possible that one or two of those severe storms may produce a tornado, the chances of that happening are very low. But, don’t be too surprised to see at least one or two days with severe weather conditions.

Lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards, yet ranks as the second-leading weather killer in the United States, according to the National Weather Service.

Despite the anticipated wetter-than-normal spring, thanks to the cooling waters in the south-central Pacific Ocean, the upcoming summer still looks dry and warm.

Contact Randy Mann at wxmann.