Thunderstorms leave valley for the coast

Acell of thunderstorms predicted to hit the Rogue Valley Wednesday missed the area and ended up pushing off toward the coast, weather officials said.

A few small fires were reported on wildland near the Cascades and near Hyatt Lake but most of these fires were less than an acre and were quickly extinguished.

Oregon Department of Forestry crews were mopping up a few small fires late Wednesday and did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

A red flag warning, alerting people to the potential for "explosive fire growth" because of lightning and little rain, was canceled at around 9 p.m. by National Weather Service officials.

"The main impact of the storm was the Cascades," said Shad Keene, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"We had some strong thunderstorms in Lake County, but we did not see then in the Rogue Valley. The main energy started too far to the west," Keene said.

By late evening Wednesday the storm cell had moved over the coast, Keene said.

Keene said the storms brought "limited" potential for fires in the Rogue Valley, but he said that lightning strikes in the higher elevations surrounding the valley could develop into fires today.

Keene said today probably won't see any storms entering into the valley.

"We could see some cloud build-up in the mountains around the area," he said.

The National Weather Service is predicting a hot day today with temperatures reaching the high-90s in Medford.

Friday could see a return of thunderstorm activity, with a 20 percent chance of showers and storms after 11 a.m. The high that day is expected to be 95 degrees.

Highs are expected to remain well into the 90s throughout the weekend. By early next week, the Rogue Valley could see a dip in the heat to the mid- to high-80s during the day.

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