Thunder possible again today

Expect thunderheads to build on the horizon today, much as they did Thursday.

The National Weather Service office in Medford has issued a hazardous weather outlook that echoes the one that was in effect Thursday.

It warns of warm temperatures and a moist, unstable air mass that could trigger thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening, mostly east of the Cascades and in Northern California. The storms will move north from the south.

The outlook notes that the southerly flow of moist air coming in from off the California coast likely will continue into next week, so the chance of afternoon and evening storms will linger.

Thunderstorms Thursday delivered 1,100 lightning strikes in Siskiyou and Modoc counties in California, as well as Klamath, Lake, eastern Douglas and parts of Jackson counties in Oregon, National Weather Service meteorologist Connie Clarstrom said. The storms blew through by midnight, she said.

In Jackson County, a strike was reported in the Little Applegate area, several were seen in the mountains east of Eagle Point and north of Highway 140, and more were spotted in the forest north-northeast of Butte Falls, Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said.

"We haven't seen any smoke from any of them," he said, noting that the remote areas are still wet or even snow-covered.

Clarstrom said a handful of the storm cells — one near Happy Camp and some in the south end of the Klamath Basin — dropped heavy rain and small hail, with winds gusting to 30 mph.

She said today and Saturday likely will be much the same, with scattered storm activity mostly to the south and east. Temperatures in the Rogue Valley might be a few degrees cooler — probably in low 90s today.

The cooling trend will continue until temperatures dip into the 70s late next week. The slim chance of afternoon and evening storms will remain, and they could deliver more rain later in the week, Clarstrom said.

— Anita Burke

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