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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Brief downpours, minor flooding reported in some areas of Inland Northwest while others left mostly dry

“Highly variable” rainfall brought nearly an inch of rain in some areas and a “trace” in others Saturday afternoon and evening in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene metro area.

For example, the National Weather Service office northwest of Airway Heights measured 0.9 inches of rain while the Spokane International Airport, about 10 miles away, received a trace, said Greg Koch, meteorologist at the weather service.

The 15- to 25-minute downpours caused minor street flooding and some visibility issues for drivers. A sign on Interstate 90 warned drivers of possible water on the road.

“Highly localized shower and thunderstorm activity typically doesn’t produce enough runoff to cause our rivers to flood,” Koch said. “This type of activity is generally something that in spots can cause minor street flooding and occasionally storm and sewer drains can be overwhelmed for short periods of time.”

One rain gauge in Coeur d’Alene measured 0.61 inches while others in the city measured a quarter of an inch or less, Koch said.

Rathdrum received 0.67 inches, Felts Field got 0.39 inches and a gauge in Liberty Lake measured 0.1 inches.

Lightning was reported in some areas, and wind gusts reached as high as 25 mph in the metro area.

Koch said the majority of shower and thunderstorm activity Sunday will be in the North Idaho and northeastern Washington mountains. Koch called for up to a 20% chance of showers in Spokane and a 30 to 50% chance in the North Idaho mountains.

Temperatures will be in the mid-70s to low 80s Sunday through Wednesday in Spokane, the weather service said.