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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

‘A different kind of weather system’: Forecasters expect rain to blanket Inland NW this weekend

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 15, 2021


After a historically dry year, Spokane and the Inland Northwest are expected to get the first fall-like showers this weekend.

“This will be a different kind of weather system from the summer ones,” said Steven Van Horn, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Spokane.

The front is expected to blanket the Inland NW, meaning almost every area in Washington and North Idaho is expected to get rain at some point this weekend. The expected widespread precipitation is a far cry from the few here-and-there storms the region has seen this summer.

Van Horn said Spokane is expected to get about one-quarter to three-fourths of an inch of rain. Most of that rain is expected to hit Friday night.

Other parts of the Inland Northwest could get a whole lot more. Areas near the Cascades could get up 2 inches, and the Idaho Panhandle could get an inch, according to NWS Spokane.

The amount of rain should at least be comparable or greater to the quarter-inch of rain that rolled through Spokane late last week.

Whether this front’s precipitation reaches the high or low end of expected rainfall, it will likely still put out more rain than Spokane received in all of July and August combined, Van Horn said.

Friday night in Spokane projects to be the wettest, but a 50% chance of rain will remain through Sunday, according to NWS Spokane.

Spokane and much of Eastern Washington continues to be under ‘exceptional drought’, or the most extreme drought level possible, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And although it’s good news the area is almost certain to get another rain shower this weekend, it’s not going to put a dent in the drought.

Van Horn said it won’t be one rain shower but an entire season’s worth of rain that would be the solution to the historic drought.

“The area will probably need an above-average winter to get out of this,” Van Horn said.

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