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Spokane on pace to have rainless July

UPDATED: Tue., July 25, 2017, 7:27 p.m.

With nothing but dry and hot weather in the forecast, July is likely to end next week without any measurable precipitation.

“I don’t see anything that looks promising for rainfall,” said forecaster Andrew Kalin of the National Weather Service.

The weather service has recorded only trace amounts of rain on July 15 and 20.

Not surprisingly, a bone-dry July is far from unprecedented.

There are 15 other Julys on record in Spokane when no measurable precipitation fell.

The most recent came in 2013. Before that, rain-free Julys were in 2008, 2003, 1994, 1973 and 1960 as well as earlier years.

Records date to 1881.

Average rainfall in Spokane for July is 0.64 inches.

The last measurable rainfall was on June 26, when 0.7 inches fell at Spokane International Airport.

In Seattle, the rainless streak dates to June 18, for a string of 38 dry days.

The record dry spell in Spokane is 73 consecutive days in 1917, a century ago.

July also has been hotter than normal in the Inland Northwest this year.

Through Monday, the Spokane airport had an average temperature of 73.9 degrees, 4.7 degrees above normal.

The average high so far is 87.7 degrees and the average low is 60.2 degrees.

The average temperature is calculated by adding daily highs and lows and dividing by two and the number of days.

After a wet late winter and early spring, rainfall amounts have fallen below normal for the third consecutive month.

The Climate Prediction Center foreshadowed the drying trend earlier this year.

Its latest climate prediction outlook is calling for a continuation of warmer- and drier-than-normal weather.

Last weekend, a northerly flow allowed some wildfire smoke from British Columbia to filter into the region.

Air quality monitors on Saturday and Sunday showed moderate smoke pollution. But air quality bounced back into the good range Monday and Tuesday.

An area of higher air pressure is expected to build into the region this week, boosting highs into the lower to middle 90s.

Some weak disturbances embedded in the upper-air flow should prevent extreme heat in the upper 90s to triple digits, forecasters said.

Saturday could be the hottest day of the week with an expected high of 94 in the downtown area.

Fire danger continues to be high, with restrictions on burning across the region.

Spokane County road crews have suspended grading of gravel roads this week since the risk of a single spark starting a fire is too high.

County officials said they will wait until soaking rains return before resuming grading operations, which are needed to keep roads in good condition.


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