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Weekend weather: Precipitation in the forecast for area outdoors enthusiasts

Thu., March 27, 2014

The Inland Northwest is entering a wet period over the next several days, but enough cold air remains over the region to bring mainly snow to mountain passes and above.

A low pressure area today is likely to set off rain showers in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas with a tenth to a quarter inch of rain possible.

Today’s system could bring up to an inch of snow to Okanogan and Ferry counties with the heaviest precipitation from today’s storm remaining north of U.S. Highway 2.

Sandpoint could see snow today before 8 a.m. Mountain valleys could see some snow tonight.

Elsewhere, showers today are expected to ease off tonight, followed by a near certainty of rain up to middle mountain elevations on Friday.

The moderate rainstorm Friday arrives across Spokane and Coeur d’Alene after 11 a.m.

That weather system is drawing moisture from remnants of a tropical depression that got caught up in the North Pacific storm track. The rain should spread across normally drier areas of the Columbia Basin on Friday. As a result, snow levels may rise to 4,000-5,000 feet on Friday.

A cold front Saturday will bring some drying, but create a transition to showers and lowering snow levels, especially in the mountains to the north and east. Thunderstorms are possible.

Spokane region highs will remain in the lower 50s through Sunday. Lows will range from the middle 30s to near 40 on Friday night. Showers and thunderstorms are possible on Sunday with a high of 52 in Spokane.

Valley temperatures to the north will vary from several degrees warmer in Colville to cooler in Sandpoint.

Through the weekend, the mountains near Kellogg should see a combination of rain and snow. The mountains west of Sandpoint can expect mainly snow, with the possibility of rain Friday night.

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