Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

March now fourth wettest on record

A double rainbow is seen from Riverfront Park on Monday, March 27, 2017, in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

With four days to go and rain in the forecast, March has become the fourth wettest on record in Spokane.

The wettest March should be fresh in people’s memories. That came in 2012, another year with high water flows and flooding problems.

The National Weather Service measured 3.55 inches of rain through midday on Monday, which is 2.2 inches above normal.

That compares with the record of 4.56 inches of precipitation in 2012. Records date back to 1881.

This year trails March 1950 at 3.75 inches and 1995 at 3.81 inches, but with more rain on the way this week, those marks could be passed.

The 2017 total for March could go up by another half inch or more, forecasters said.

Flooding continues to be a problem and landslide risk remained high on Monday.

The Spokane River, Lake Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe River at St. Maries all remained above flood stage on Monday, but the rivers have crested and continue to drop.

The Spokane River fell below 28 feet on the gauge at Spokane on Monday, but was still at the minor flood stage level, creating an attraction for the cascading Spokane Falls.

Lake Coeur d’Alene was at an elevation of 2,133 feet and expected to fall out of flood stage on Tuesday.

The Little Spokane River, which has gone below flood stage, could reach flood stage again on Thursday before dropping back.

Roadways were closed due to landslides and flooding. Pine Springs Road in southwest Spokane County was reopened after large culverts failed.

Greenwood Drive in Spokane and Elder Road in southeast Spokane County were closed due to flooding.

A mudslide seven miles north of Kettle Falls on state Highway 25 has partially blocked the highway. Drivers are being directed onto a single lane in alternating directions.

U.S. Highway 395 still was closed Monday morning northwest of Colville due to water over the roadway.

State Highway 31 north of Ione and south of Metaline remained closed due to mudslide danger.

National Weather Service forecasters are calling for showers for Tuesday followed by a new storm system on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Mountain snow levels were hovering about 4,000 in elevation on Monday, allowing ski areas to continue operations.

Forecasters said snow levels could fall as low as 3,000 feet Tuesday night.

Snowpack amounts range from 95 to 103 percent of normal in North Idaho and Northeast Washington.

High temperatures this week should be near normal in the lower 50s, with lows running from the mid-30s to lower 40s.

Milder temperatures are likely this weekend, with highs going to the upper 50s on both Saturday and Sunday, forecasters said.