A pedestrian is caught in a hailstorm in downtown Medford Wednesday as heavy rain and thunderstorms swept across the valley. Forecasters say the weekend may be damp, but improving by Sunday. - Jamie Lusch

Whither the weather?

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May rainstorms bring? In the wake of yet another rainy day Wednesday, area residents hope they don't bring a soggy Memorial Day weekend — but forecasters say we should be prepared for at least some dampness.

Wednesday began with steady rainfall in the early morning, moved to showers for much of the day and concluded with a few thunderstorms accompanied by brief, but intense, downpours and occasional hail. In the 24 hours ending at 5 p.m. Wednesday, rain gauges at the National Weather Service office at the Medford airport recorded two-thirds of an inch.

Chuck Glaser, data acquisition program manager at the Medford office, said instability caused by the early rainstorm combined with warming temperatures to produce the brief spate of afternoon thunderstorms.

Those thunderstorms are less likely to occur today, Glaser said, but the rain showers are expected to stick around through at least the first part of the weekend, with high temperatures stuck in the 60s.

"We're not going to see some sunny, warming trend," he said. "It's going to stay below normal."

As of Wednesday evening, forecasts called for 50 percent chance of rain today and Friday, followed by a 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday. Sunday and Monday look somewhat better, with forecasters calling for just a chance of rain. By Monday, temperatures may rise tantalizingly close to 70.

"It's not going to be the worst weekend in the world," Glaser said, "but we're talking about the end of May. Usually by now we're looking for something a little better."

Then again, he noted, maybe we should count our blessings.

"When you think what's going on in the Midwest, it's not too bad," Glaser said.

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