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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Don’t schedule an outdoor wedding for Memorial Day weekend in Spokane

UPDATED: Fri., May 24, 2019

A passerby shield herself from a passing rain storm on Friday, May 24, 2019, in downtown Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
A passerby shield herself from a passing rain storm on Friday, May 24, 2019, in downtown Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s not your imagination: The weather in Spokane for Memorial Day weekend usually isn’t good.

It’s happening again.

Two days ago, the National Weather Service forecast highs in the mid- to upper 70s throughout the weekend. Now it appears that Spokane will be lucky to break 70, with a prediction of gusts up to 30 mph on Sunday.

Greg Koch, weather service meteorologist, acknowledged on Friday that the weekend forecast doesn’t look as promising as it did two days ago.

“Saturday doesn’t look too bad,” said Koch, who cautioned that there’s a chance of rain.

“However, Monday looks decent, with highs in the mid-70s,” Koch said.

Looking back over recent Memorial Day weekends, “decent” is about as good as it gets in the Spokane area.

During the past 15 years, according to weather service statistics, the thermometer broke 80 degrees on just four Memorial Day weekends, including the last two years.

In six of the previous seven holiday weekends, temperatures didn’t exceed 71. Four of those weekends saw significant rainfall, including at least three-tenths of an inch in 2010 and 2015.

“In general, putting your eggs in the Memorial Day basket is a sketchy proposition,” Koch said.

“We’ve seen a lot of Memorial Day weekends with high temperatures reaching only the upper 50s,” Koch said.

Based on those same statistics, the chances of a fair-weather camping trip are far better a week later.

During the past 10 years, average temperatures the weekend following Memorial Day are 9 degrees higher on average. Only once, in 2017, were they lower than on the holiday.

Perhaps more surprising, average temps the weekend before the holiday are almost as good – just 2 degrees cooler on average.

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