Tuesday has proved to be a very active day, as predicted. The area saw over one hundred lightning strikes Tuesday afternoon and evening. Not only that, but trees were downed in Ashland, and further northeast, hail half an inch in diameter fell near Chemult, blanketing the ground. Ashland did see some measurable rainfall – somewhere between 0.20 and 0.40 inches. Tuesday afternoon, temperatures soared, yet again, back into the triple digits. Medford saw its eleventh day at or above 100. If temperatures don’t take a drop soon (which is not expected), this is on track to be one of the hottest July’s on record in the Rogue Valley.
The lightning strikes Tuesday afternoon were mainly contained to Siskiyou County and the Klamath Basin, but a few storms skirted part of the Rogue Valley. Just south of Ashland, several lightning strikes occurred to the south and east of the city, but that’s as far north as the storms crept into Jackson County. As far as temperatures are concerned, Medford’s official high was 104. The high heat and lightning strikes aren’t helping the fire fighting efforts in southern Oregon. Because of this, another red flag warning is in effect Wednesday afternoon from 2 PM until 11 PM.
Thunderstorm activity Wednesday will be more isolated than that of Tuesday. However, that doesn’t exclude Jackson County from the risk. The coverage area for storms includes portions of the Rogue Valley, northern California, and the Klamath Basin…those of the same locations are under the red flag warning. A storm or two could travel over the Siskiyous and into Jackson County, as was the case Tuesday afternoon. There appears to be an end in sight for all of the thunderstorms, though. By next Tuesday, it looks like all locations will be dry with mostly sunny skies. However, the heat sticks around…highs will be in the upper 90′s throughout the next seven days.
Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna