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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Weekend weather: Last days of winter give way to spring-like conditions

This weekend’s forecast is matching nicely the calendar’s change from winter to spring.

Temperatures start out with a late-winter chill on Thursday and Friday mornings when lows are expected to be in the 20s.

But sunshine will help take the chill out of the air until milder temperatures arrive under a building high pressure system starting on Friday.

Highs will go from the upper 40s on Thursday to low 50s on Friday to upper 50s on Saturday to near 60 on Sunday.

Lows will gradually warm to about 40 by Sunday night.

Clouds return during the day on Sunday as a new Pacific weather system approaches, bringing an increased chance of rain by Sunday night and Monday.

The spring equinox occurs at 9:30 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday.

National Weather Service forecasters are warning that people venturing into the mountains should be wary of a heightened risk of land and rock slides.

A series of wet storms has soaked hillsides, with some areas seeing record or near-record precipitation.

Grand Coulee Dam has its fifth wettest year on record with 8.81 inches of rain.

Stehekin in the North Cascades has seen 48 inches of precipitation, which is its second-wettest year on record.

Waterville in Douglas County has received 14.81 inches for its wettest year, while Republic has 12.46 inches of rain for its third-wettest year.

In Spokane, 11.85 inches of precipitation has fallen since Oct. 1 with 5.49 inches coming since Jan. 1.

Snowfall in Spokane should end the season well below normal as had been expected during a winter influenced by an El Nino pattern.

The 33.6 inches of snow that fell so far this season at Spokane International Airport was 8.6 inches below normal through Tuesday.

Mountain snowpack, though, improved during the week ending on Monday and ranges from 88 to 144 percent of normal with the heaviest snowpack found in Stevens, Ferry and Okanogan counties.

That improvement came despite rain up to middle elevations in the past two weeks.

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