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Rain clears smoke … for now

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 27, 2018, 8:59 p.m.

About a quarter inch of rain fell Sunday and Monday over much of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, clearing out smoke and dampening the thirsty landscape.

Felts Field in Spokane measured 0.35 of an inch of rain during the 24-hour period through 3 p.m., said Mark Turner, National Weather Service observing program leader in the Spokane office. Pullman had .32 of an inch, Kettle Falls got 0.20 of an inch, Coeur d’Alene had 0.45 of an inch fall, and Lewiston had 0.38 of an inch. Spokane International Airport measured only 0.17 of an inch, but observations reported to the weather service showed that most the city had amounts closer to what fell at Felts Field.

The rain did not fall heavily, however, in the Cascades, where the largest fires in the region are burning and producing smoke.

The Methow Valley State Airport, located between Twisp and Winthrop, measured only .01 of an inch of rain. The Crescent Mountain fire, which is about 8 miles west of Twisp, has burned nearly 70 square miles.

Joey Clevenger, a weather service meteorologist, said locations near fires could see smoke return to the skies Monday or Tuesday.

“It depends on how much smoke the fires are putting out,” he said.

Rain on Sunday was the first measurable rain Spokane has received this August. The last measurable rain fell on July 27, but it was only 0.02 of an inch. The last time more than 0.10 of an inch fell was June 21.

Despite a drier-than-normal summer, Spokane is close to a normal amount for the year. Since Oct. 1, Spokane has had 16.87 inches of rain, more than an inch above average.

Since Jan. 1, Spokane has had 9.71 inches of rain. The normal is 10 inches.

After a cooler day on Monday, the weather service is expecting temperatures in Spokane to return to the low 80s on Wednesday before falling back into the 70s the rest of the week. No rain is in the forecast.


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