A series of storms is expected to bring more than an inch of rainfall Friday to Tuesday in drought-stricken Spokane.
Steven Van Horn, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane, said the much-needed rain will not cause flooding, but people should clear storm drains of fallen leaves and other debris to allow for unobstructed runoff.
“It’s going to be more active and wet, with a series of systems coming through,” Van Horn said.
He said about one-tenth of an inch of rain fell Wednesday in most of the region, and two-tenths came down in the mountains of northeastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.
The next round of rain is anticipated to start late Thursday night and continue into Friday afternoon, Van Horn said. Mountains in northeastern Washington could see an inch, and one-quarter to one-half inch is expected in the valleys during that stretch. A half inch is expected in Deer Park, Colville and Priest River.
More than an inch is expected to fall Friday to Saturday in Eastern Washington, from Spokane to the Palouse, Van Horn said. Mountains in northeastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle could see up to one and three-quarters inches.
He said the wet weather is a typical fall pattern and will provide some drought relief.
“We could definitely use it,” Van Horn said. “This is all going to be really beneficial.”
Van Horn said the region is in the “extreme” or “exceptional” drought categories, so the rain will help – but not remove – those drought designations. The “exceptional” category is the worst on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s scale.
There’s a 60% chance of rain Saturday night and Sunday, and a 90% chance Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters are calling for a 40% to 70% chance of precipitation Monday through Tuesday night. High temperatures will be in the 50s, and lows will dip into the high 30s and low 40s.
Van Horn said high mountain peaks will also have the potential for snowfall late this week and early next week.
Snow levels could drop down to 4,500 feet in the Cascade Range by Saturday morning and 4,000 feet by Tuesday morning.
The top of Mount Spokane could see some snow, Van Horn said.
“It’s still a bit early,” Van Horn said of snow.
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