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Spokane

Weathercatch: Desperately seeking sunshine in Inland NW

UPDATED: Thu., May 18, 2017, 4:10 p.m.

Raindrops pool on a car hood in Spokane in this file photo from last year. A line of Pacific storms is bringing rain and wind to the region. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Raindrops pool on a car hood in Spokane in this file photo from last year. A line of Pacific storms is bringing rain and wind to the region. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

If you found yourself peering out a window with gritted teeth at another damp, gloomy day this past weekend, join the growing club of sun cravers.

Perhaps you’re experiencing some weather-related whiplash as well.

On Wednesday last week, the Spokane area basked under sunny skies, a light breeze and a high of 77 degrees. Suddenly, the weather took a nosedive. By Thursday evening, a volatile cold front had moved in and parked itself over the Inland Northwest. Rain dampened softball fields and cool gusts of wind tossed budding apple blossoms. Peak winds clocked at 33 mph.

More shots of rain followed Friday, when the air was considerably cooler. High temperatures struggled to reach 50 degrees, with the lows holding at 44. Winds blew out of the south at 16 mph with gusts at 24.

Needless to say, similar conditions reigned through the weekend. Thunder rumbled and hail fell in Spokane for a short time Saturday. Overnight, the low dropped to a chilly 35 degrees.

On Sunday, we awoke to more drizzle and cool weather.

Normally, a string of cool, rainy days in May isn’t that big of a deal. But it probably feels more intense this year because of the many gloomy days we’ve already endured. After all, the Lilac City emerged from its second-wettest March on record this spring. And April? With 14 days of measurable rainfall, it was wetter than usual as well.

All that, following a winter that delivered three waves of subzero temperatures and 61 inches of snowfall, compared to the 42.6-inch long-term average.

The good news is that the dreariness is giving way to a period of sunny skies and warmer temperatures. A high of near 70 is expected by Friday, with dry and mild conditions lasting through next week.

Yes, it’s high time to soak up the sun.

Nic Loyd is a meteorologist with Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet. Linda Weiford is a WSU news writer and weather geek. Contact: linda.weiford@wsu.edu or nicholas.loyd@wsu.edu.



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