Rain should let up until later Friday

Car headlights reflect off of a wet Pine Street in Central Point Monday. Mail Tribune / Jamie LuschJamie Lusch

After a wet and windy Tuesday in the Rogue Valley, meteorologists are counting on two days of clear weather today and Thursday before circling back to rain and lightning Friday afternoon.

"It's sunny for the next couple days," said meteorologist Chuck Glaser on Tuesday.

Friday's stormy weather is expected to bring one-tenth of an inch of rain to Jackson County. An upper level low is expected to originate off the coast, dropping most of its moderate to heavy rain west of the Cascades, but depleting in strength as it moves inland.

Another weaker system is expected late Sunday, with a chance for scattered showers, with no more than five-hundredths of an inch, based on forecast models released Tuesday.

"Summer's trying to hang on a little bit, but by the time the weekend rolls around, it'll be cooler and wetter," said meteorologist Shad Keene.

Two cells moved through the area Tuesday morning, bringing scattered showers. Several lightning strikes were reported near Ashland, the Greensprings area, Rogue River and northern Central Point near Blackwell Hill.

The first bout of rain Tuesday moved through between 4 and 7 a.m., with about 50 lightning strikes documented across Jackson County. Most were confined to the county's southeast corner near Ashland and the Greensprings area.

Oregon Department of Forestry officials responded to reports of smoke on Copco Road, between Highway 66 and the Oregon-California border, and Chinquapin Mountain Road. Responders found several lightning-sparked fires, including one on Copco Road that grew to a half acre before crews extinguished it. Early afternoon rains also assisted.

"It helped a lot," said ODF spokesman Brian Ballou. The rainfall also helped further temper the Big Windy Complex fire in Josephine County, he said.

A second round of rain late Tuesday morning came with 20 mph winds that gusted to 32 mph. About 10 additional lightning strikes were reported by Tuesday afternoon, and about a quarter-inch of rain was reported in Medford by Tuesday afternoon.

"Seems like everyone got between a tenth and three-tenths of an inch, all within a fairly short time frame," Keene said. "It was good coverage. This was more widespread."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.


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