Wind gusts over 40 mph in Spokane on Sunday, with stronger winds on the way Monday

<p><p>Wind gusts reached 44 mph in Spokane on Sunday, but there were no widespread reports of damage or power outages. </p></p><p><p>The National Weather Service is predicting even stronger winds in the area Monday.</p></p><p><p>Steve Bodnar, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the service on Sunday had one report in Cheney of a tree that fell onto powerlines. Avista Corp. did not report any outages in the Cheney area at 5 p.m. Sunday.</p></p><p><p>Inland Power and Light reported widespread outages in northwest Spokane County, north of Airway Heights. The utility reported more than 3,000 members without power as of 1:30 p.m., but the outage had been mostly repaired by 3 p.m.</p></p><p><p>Avista reported outages affecting more than 1,200 customers as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, including an outage reported near Wellpinit that affected 449 customers. Crews were working on the outage there and planned to have power restored just after 8 p.m.</p></p><p><p>Several outages affecting more than 2,500 customers were reported Sunday afternoon in Kellogg. Kootenai Electric Cooperative reported outages affecting about 40 members east of Athol. Northern Lights reported 122 members without power in North Idaho.</p></p><p><p>The southern wind brought unseasonably warm temperatures to Spokane on Sunday. The high temperature was 57 degrees at the airport, well above the average high of 40 degrees.</p></p><p><p>If the thermometer reaches 60 Monday, it will tie with 1896 as the warmest Nov. 15 recorded.</p></p><p><p>Even stronger winds are forecasted late Monday. Bodnar said starting around 4 p.m. Spokane would see sustained winds of 30 mph or stronger, as well as “a threat for wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph with some isolated gusts around 60 mph,” Bodnar said.</p></p><p><p>“As we cross into the afternoon that’s when we’re looking at potential moderate to high impacts from the winds,” Bodnar said.</p></p><p><p>Those in the region should be prepared for power outages, especially as the mild weather is not expected to stick around, Bodnar said. People should make sure they charge their electronics, are stocked on flashlights and have a backup plan for staying warm as overnight lows dip into the 20s starting Tuesday.</p></p><p><p>Drivers in high-profile vehicles traveling on any north-south highway Monday should also be aware of challenging travel conditions, Bodnar said.</p></p>