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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rain helps dissipate smoke, improving air quality; cooler temps on the way

Sept. 14, 2022 Updated Wed., Sept. 14, 2022 at 7:38 p.m.

Wildfire smoke engulfs Spokane and the Maple Street Bridge on Monday.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Wildfire smoke engulfs Spokane and the Maple Street Bridge on Monday. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Wednesday morning rain and a change in wind direction helped improve air quality in Eastern Washington, bringing the air quality index into the moderate range.

Three-hundredths of an inch of rain fell at the Spokane International Airport, 0.1 inches fell near Veradale and 0.2 inches came down around Newman Lake, said Joey Clevenger, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Spokane.

In Stevens County, Colville got 0.65 inches, Kettle Falls received 0.22 inches and Northport got 0.14 inches.

“Most of the rain fell in the northern counties, particularly Okanogan, Ferry and Stevens,” Clevenger said.

The air quality index moved into the moderate category Wednesday for Spokane, Airway Heights and Spokane Valley, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. The Kootenai River Complex fires in North Idaho are burning over 20,000 acres.

Cooler weather is moving into the area with high temperatures around 70 for the weekend and lows in the high 40s in Spokane. Rain showers are possible this weekend.

Clevenger said a ridge that’s been hovering over the region the past couple weeks moved out of the area, and a trough along the coast will bring in cooler air.

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