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

Warm weekend weather in the Spokane area breaks records

Spectators crowd along Main Avenue as commercial vehicles fill the street during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday, Mar. 16, 2024 in downtown Spokane, Washington.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Revelers this St. Patrick’s Day were greeted with an unseasonably warm weekend that either broke or tied temperature records in multiple regional locations, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Sunday’s high of 70 degrees in Spokane tied the high set on this day in 1942.
  • Wenatchee’s high of 71 degrees inched above the 1972 record of 70 degrees.
  • 1941 held Pullman’s previous record of 67 degrees, toppled by Sunday’s 69.
  • Ephrata reached 72 degrees on Sunday, overturning the 69 record reached in 1942.
  • Omak measured up to 73 degrees Sunday, breaking the 1910 record of 71 degrees.

The regional heat wave is due to a high pressure system over the region, according to service meteorologist Valerie Thaler.

“We’re just having this pretty strong area of high pressure sitting over us, so we’re having some warm air come up from the south and also keeping our skies clear, allowing sun to really efficiently warm up the area,” Thaler said.

Air warms as high pressure causes it to sink, she said.

The warm weather arrived about a month early to Spokane. Historically, the average first-day temperatures to reach 70 degrees is April 18. On March 17, 2023, Spokane’s high was 51 degrees, almost 20 degrees lower than Sunday.

Spokane residents should expect two more days of unseasonable temperatures. But don’t get too comfortable because, Thaler said, “the warm temperatures are not here to stay.”

The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 68 degrees on Monday and Tuesday. If reached, it would tie the record set in 1942 for both days.