March 13, 2014 in Washington Voices

April snow showers bring May flowers and hail


It’s almost hard to believe that after a relatively dry first half of the winter season, we’ve seen copious amounts of moisture across the Inland Northwest.

Since Jan. 1, the Spokane International Airport has received about 5 inches of rain and melted snow, compared to the normal of about 3.7 inches. However, since Oct. 1, there has been 7.10 inches of moisture compared to a normal of about 9.5 inches.

Snowfall totals are close to seasonal normals for many locations in our region. For example, Coeur d’Alene has nearly 67 inches, about 3 inches below what they receive for an entire season. In Spokane, the current total stands at 37.6 inches, compared to a seasonal normal of about 46 inches.

I wouldn’t put away those snow tires yet. We could still see some measurable snowfall toward the end of this month and into the full moon phase of April 15 to 22. That period also includes Easter, April 20, which will likely have cool temperatures with the possibility of scattered rain showers and an isolated afternoon thunderstorm.

We should get a good taste of spring this weekend as we’ll have more sunshine with temperatures warming into the 50s across many locations. More showers are expected to return to the region toward the end of next week. Our region should also see an increase in thunderstorm activity in late March and early April.

May should be close to normal with occasional showers and a few thunderstorms. There will likely be some pea-sized hail accompanying the thunderstorms and briefly strong winds that may topple trees and blow down signs.

June is forecast to start out wetter and cooler than usual, but the last couple of weeks of June may turn warm to hot with less precipitation than normal and lots of sunshine. From the middle of June through August, we should see plenty of sunny weather thanks to a huge high pressure ridge that will be camped over the Inland Northwest.

The hottest part of the upcoming summer should be in July or early August. We may see a few afternoons with triple-digit temperatures. The best chance for this scorching weather would be sometime during the full moon cycle of July 12-19 or, perhaps, in the first few days of August.

Also, despite the recent moisture in California and other parts of the West, the upcoming fire season is expected to be another tough one.

Contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrange for additional information.

There is one comment on this story. Click here to view comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email