MEDFORD, Ore. — Poor air quality from smoke in Southern Oregon and Siskiyou County persists, in large part, because of stagnant weather patterns in the area that have lasted almost unbroken for weeks now. Without significant wind or rain, the smoke is sure to linger.
However, the one major weather pattern that our area has observed in the past several weeks sounds like a misnomer—dry thunderstorms.
According to our StormWatch 12 meteorologists, dry thunderstorms occur when storm systems pass over that produce thunder and lightning, but nearly all of the precipitation (rain) evaporates before it has a chance to fall to the surface [pictured].
With near-drought conditions, dry thunderstorms are a very real threat. The thunderstorms that started a flurry of wildfires on July 15 and still persist over one month later (e.g. the Taylor Creek Fire, Miles Fire, Klondike Fire, or Garner Complex) were a particularly extreme example. Thousands of lightning strikes hit Southern Oregon with no precipitation to put out the flames or contribute moisture to dry foliage.
StormWatch 12 meteorologists continue to track dry thunderstorms in our area on Thursday, primarily along the Cascades and into the upper Klamath Basin. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the Cascades, Klamath and Lake Counties from 11 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday due to the threat of lightning.
So far, our meteorologists have observed two lightning strikes in north-central Lake County since 7 a.m. Thursday morning.