As expected, Monday afternoon brought widespread thunderstorms to the Klamath Basin and northern California. Heavy rain fell in central Klamath County, and frequent lightning strikes accompanied the slow moving thunderstorms. Activity will begin to die down tonight, with a few embedded rumbles of thunder still possible, but the risk is back for Tuesday.
Smoke in the region suppressed daytime heating a bit, and in Siskiyou County, air quality was greatly affected. Both Ft. Jones and Etna have been reporting air quality in the “unhealthy” category, which means it is unhealthy for anyone to be outdoors for an extended length of time. Those groups that have heart or lung disease will experience even greater health risks. The smoke will continue to drape the area in a yellow haze if the fires continue to burn at their current rate, or until there’s a change in the large-scale weather pattern to shift the winds and divert the smoke.
For the short-term, there will be no big changes to the current set-up, and the smoke will likely stay with us through the work week. The thunderstorm threat, however, is back for Tuesday. Locations affected will be mainly northern California, with a few isolated storms possible in the Klamath Basin. A storm or two could make its way into southeastern Jackson County, but the Rogue Valley will mostly stay dry. With the threat for storms comes new fire starts from lightning, so a fire weather watch has been issued in anticipation of Tuesday storms. It includes part of the Rogue Valley, most of the Klamath Basin, and a large part of northern California.
Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna