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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Take this very serious’: Potentially dangerous storms expected to bring winds, hail to Eastern Washington

UPDATED: Sat., May 30, 2020

Update on the storm available here.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to roll through Eastern Washington and North Idaho on Saturday afternoon, bringing with them rain, strong winds, hail and, perhaps, tornadoes.

In a Saturday briefing, Steve Bodnar of the National Weather Service’s Spokane office urged people to “take this very serious.”

“This is a fairly big deal,” he said. “We don’t see enhanced risks in our area very often. Generally speaking, we think this could be like a 1-in-10 year event.”

Bodnar said the storm is expected to be “much more impactful and potentially dangerous” than other recent weather events in the area.

The storm is forecast to move northeast, entering Central Washington between 4 and 5 p.m. and arriving in Spokane and Lewiston between 7 and 9 p.m.

“The hazards with these storms could include large hail,” Bodnar said.

Hail stones could be “as big as baseballs. What that could do is it could cause structural damage to cars and even smash windshields,” Bodnar said.

“Our confidence is pretty high that these storms will carry large hail,” he said, though there’s some uncertainty about where it will fall.

The storms will also likely include damaging winds between 40 and 50 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph.

Bodnar said there is even a chance of “isolated tornadoes today.”

A flash flood watch has been issued for a large swatch of Central Washington.

Bodnar urged people to secure objects that may subject to becoming projectiles in high winds.

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