Here comes the sun

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  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Coeur d’Alene resident Barbara Brambila relaxes in the sun at Yap-Keehn-Um Beach at North Idaho College on Monday.

  • 1

    Harris

  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Coeur d’Alene resident Barbara Brambila relaxes in the sun at Yap-Keehn-Um Beach at North Idaho College on Monday.

  • 1

    Harris

It’s shorts weather!

That thought likely crossed more than a few cabin-fever-crazed minds Monday as outdoor temperatures rose into the high 50s.

“It wasn’t a record, but we had 57 today,” Coeur d’Alene climatologist Cliff Harris said Monday afternoon.

The mercury could rise to 60 today, Harris said.

The warmer weather arrives just in time for the spring equinox, which is 2:58 p.m. local time Wednesday. Also known as the vernal equinox, this is when spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere.

This week’s temperatures are 5 to 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane.

The warm up will accelerate snow melt in the lower elevations throughout the region, and with more than a few inches of snow on the ground in most locations, things could get wet.

Some field flooding is expected in areas where this typically happens, primarily in fields that drain poorly.

“Streams fed by low elevation snow melt will experience rises this week. Some minor flooding will be possible. Some roads that are frequently closed due to field flooding may be impacted next week,” warned the National Weather service.

The good news is ice jam flooding isn’t anticipated. River ice is expected to break up as temperatures rise and warmer runoff flows into the rivers.

And the threat of regular flooding on the area’s main rivers is low. Rivers like the Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane are not expected to approach flood stage through the end of next week, according to the weather service.

It’s unlikely there will be another significant snowfall this year — but it might not be over completely.

“Overnight temps will be cool enough that we might get a flurry or two,” Harris said.

He said the total snowfall for the season in Coeur d’Alene will end up close to the 100-inch mark.

“We’re at 96.4 inches now,” Harris said. “That’s way above the 69.8 average.”

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