Rain breaks long dry spell

Forecasters say wet weather won't be back for a while

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SHAWN GUST/Press A single bubble floats on the surface of a small puddle during a thunderstorm Tuesday in Coeur d'Alene.

Tuesday's intermittent raindrops were nothing more than a brief cool-off, reported climatologist Cliff Harris.

But an important cool-off, he said, that broke a record dry spell.

The 0.12 inches that sprinkled down by 3 p.m. on Tuesday ended 32 days without any measurable rain in Coeur d'Alene, Harris reported.

That rainless window beat the previous record-low precipitation for that 32-day span, Harris said. The prior record was a total .03 inches of precipitation that fell in the Dust Bowl year of 1934, he said.

"We went from the wettest spring on record to the driest mid-summer on record," Harris said.

Things will be parched again for awhile, he added.

He forecasted mostly clear skies and temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s through the rest of the week, he said.

Most will find it a welcome change from the 100-degree temperatures that sizzled the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo last year, he added.

"People keep calling and asking, 'Are we going to rain all through the fair?'" Harris said. "We're not. (Tuesday) is a one-time shot here."

He cautioned that overnight lows will dip into the high 40s later in the week, though, so some might reach for another layer once the sun sets.

This summer has seen 22 days that reached 90 degrees or above, Harris noted.

He doesn't foresee another drop of rain until the end of the month, he added.

So this year might not reach August's normal total precipitation of 1.23 inches.

"We're still way below," Harris said.

He forecasted a drier than normal fall ahead, as well.

"We're in a pattern of extremes," he said, reminding that just over nine inches more of rain will break the record annual precipitation of 38.77. "At least it makes things interesting."

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