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Thunderstorms and Fire Weather

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Monday brought a few thunderstorms to the area, and the rain chances and lightning risk return for Tuesday.  Rainfall amounts so far have been low, but a bit of measurable rain is possible locally with Tuesday’s storms.  Temperatures also hover near average and dip back down to the middle 80’s by mid-week, but triple digits return by the weekend.

Since the lightning threat is substantial on Tuesday, a fire weather warning has been issued.  Instead of including just northern California and the Klamath Basin like Monday, it will also encompass Jackson and eastern Douglas Counties also.  Not only are fuels already dry and lightning strikes expected to be frequent, but winds due to the thunderstorms will be strong.  When storms form, they loft large amounts of air high in the atmosphere, and when they “die,” that air falls to the surface.  This sends out what’s known as a gust front or outflow boundary and may contain wind gusts upward of 30 to 40 mph.  Those gusts would exacerbate any fires sparked by lightning.

A lingering shower or storm is possible Wednesday, but most of the activity will stay further north.  While temperatures drop by Wednesday, lots of sunshine and high pressure ridging brings highs back into the triple digits by the end of the weekend.

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Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna