Flood warnings were posted in Washington state early today after rain and melting snow pushed rivers and creeks over their banks, while scattered rain fell on the Southeast and flood-weary Plains.

Residents piled sandbags in Chewelah, Wash., as a creek swollen by weekend rain and snowmelt flooded a park and covered U.S. 395 with 3 inches of water. A dozen families briefly left their homes along the surging Yakima River in southern Washington, where water was a foot above the 33-foot flood stage. A dike held back the water.

In northern Idaho, flood warnings were issued for the St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene valleys, where rivers were expected to remain up to 2 feet above flood stage most of the week. More rain was in tonight's forecast.

Light rain was expected through the day from Missouri to North Dakota, where the flooded Red River has forced thousands of people to flee their homes. An inch of rain fell west of the flooded region Monday.

In the South, strong thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes were possible by tonight from east Texas into Georgia. Up to 4 inches of rain was forecast in some areas.

The Northeast and Rockies should see generally dry weather today, while scattered rain was possible along the West Coast after Monday's record high temperatures.

It reached 94 in Los Angeles, breaking the 1987 record by a degree. In Santa Barbara, Calif., the 93-degree reading shattered the record of 87, also set in 1987.

The nation's hot spot Monday in the Lower 48 states was Laredo, Texas, at 102 degrees. The low was 18 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

Temperatures today should reach the 50s across the Northeast, northern Plains and Rockies; 60s in the Midwest and Northwest; 70s across the West and South; and 80s and 90s in the Southeast, Texas and Southwest.

Other reports at 5 a.m. EDT (some atmospheric conditions not available):

_East: Albany, N.Y., 39 fair; Atlanta 58 misty; Boston 42 cloudy; Buffalo 37 partly cloudy; Caribou 35 cloudy; Charleston, S.C., 67 fair; Chattanooga 57 fog; Cincinnati 46 misty; Cleveland 48 misty; Detroit 42 cloudy; Hatteras 62 misty; Jacksonville 66 thunderstorms; Key West 75 cloudy; Knoxville 55 misty; Macon 66 cloudy; Miami 69 cloudy; New York 44 partly cloudy; Philadelphia 42 misty; Pittsburgh 37 partly cloudy; Portland, Maine, 37 fair; Richmond 46 rain; Tampa 71 partly cloudy; Washington, D.C., 46 misty.

_Central: Birmingham 60 partly cloudy; Bismarck 42 rain; Chicago 39 fair; Denver 35 cloudy; Des Moines 48 rain; Fort Worth 69 cloudy; Galveston 71 cloudy; Indianapolis 44 fair; Kansas City 48 rain; Little Rock 55 misty; Louisville 51 misty; Memphis 55 misty; Minneapolis-St. Paul 40 partly cloudy; Nashville 55 cloudy; New Orleans 71 cloudy; North Platte 39 cloudy; Oklahoma City 60 rain; Omaha 48 rain; Rapid City 42 windy; San Antonio 69 misty; St. Louis 51 misty.

_West: Albuquerque 53 partly cloudy; Anchorage 39 fair; Boise 49 rain; Casper 24 fair; Fairbanks 32 fair; Great Falls 33 cloudy; Honolulu 73 fair; Las Vegas 78 fair; Los Angeles 78 windy; Medford 48 fair; Pendleton 48 cloudy; Phoenix 80 partly cloudy; Portland, Ore., 53 cloudy; Reno 51 fair; Salt Lake City 49 cloudy; San Diego 62 cloudy; San Francisco 53 cloudy; Seattle 44 fair; Spokane 39 fair.