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Weekend weather: A pair of mostly sunny days expected on Friday and Saturday

Wed., April 19, 2017, 3:01 p.m.

A break in this season’s wet, blustery weather should result in sunshine and a bit of warming on Friday and Saturday.

High temperatures could reach the middle 60s on Saturday in Spokane.

But before the nicer weather arrives, the Inland Northwest should see more rain or showers on Thursday.

A large low pressure area well off the coasts of Washington and Oregon is going to sling ocean moisture into the region from the southwest, National Weather Service forecasters said.

Forecasters are calling for one-tenth to one-quarter inch of rain in Spokane on Thursday with showers and up to another one-tenth inch falling on Thursday night.

The high on Thursday should reach the middle 50s.

Light southwest winds are likely on Thursday.

The two-day drying period kicks in on Friday and Saturday with mostly sunny skies both days and highs of 59 on Saturday and 65 on Sunday in Spokane thanks to a high pressure area arriving over the region.

Sunday’s weather is iffy with clouds, a 30 percent chance of showers and a high of 59.

A few days of dry weather could help lessen risks of landslides, flooding and washouts, which have troubled the area for months now, especially along steep slopes and low-lying roadways.

Forecasters said that wet weather last fall, especially in October, raised the water table and set the stage for trouble this year.

Saturated soils have become weakened and are prone to sloughing or collapsing.

On Monday, Spokane set a daily record for rainfall at 0.51 inches, breaking a record of 0.50 inches in 1948, a year that also saw dramatic flooding.

Since October, Spokane has seen 21.03 inches of rain compared with an average of 11.32.

Mountain snowpack remains at near 100 percent for this time of year in Northeast Washington and North Idaho.

Watersheds in Stevens, Ferry and Okanogan counties have snowpacks at 127 percent or normal as of Monday.

The Cascades have snowpacks in excess of 100 percent with the heavier snowpacks found in the southern Cascades.

Forecasters said that a strong warmup during coming spring months could trigger another fast runoff like the ones seen already this year when lower-elevation snow melted under repeated rainfall.

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