Unpack your shorts. It will hit the 70s and maybe even the 80s this week.
In a spring marked by repeated rainstorms and cool temperatures, there appears to be a major change coming to the Inland Northwest.
“We are pretty confident it is going to nip 80” this week, said National Weather Service forecaster Mark Turner.
A system of higher air pressure will move onshore and bring the first serious warm-up of the season, he said.
Highs in Spokane should go from the middle 50s on Monday to the lower 60s on Tuesday, the lower 70s on Wednesday and then to 80 on Thursday.
The highest temperature measured in Spokane so far this year was 64 degrees on April 22.
Highs might reach the upper 80s in Moses Lake and Tri-Cities.
The weather service forecast Monday evening said, “Thursday looks to be the warmest day of the week with daytime highs solidly in the 70s to lower 80s – the warmest day of 2017. The last time the region was this warm was late September 2016.”
Following Thursday’s warm-weather peak, the region should see a continuation of milder conditions with highs of 74 on Friday. The middle 60s are forecast for this weekend.
Thunderstorms are also a possibility at the end of this week.
The big warm-up is coming on the heels of months of wet and snowy weather.
Spokane has had 21.24 inches of precipitation since Oct. 1, the most ever recorded for the period of October through April and nearly double the average amount of precipitation.
The warm-up will start melting higher-elevation snow, which continues to be measured at well above 100 percent of normal across the Pacific Northwest.
Holden Village in the heart of the mountains near Lake Chelan still has 37 inches of snow on the ground, Turner said.
Rapid snow melt this week will cause rivers in the region to rise, but no flooding was expected as of Monday, Turner said.
The Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry and the rivers draining the eastern slopes of the Cascades will see the most significant rises. The Snake River will also be on the rise.
Climate prediction models show that the region is likely to see a continuation of milder weather, but precipitation will be at or near normal through May 14.
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