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Jackson County soaks up more than a half-inch of rain

Parts of Jackson County received more than a half-inch of rain over the weekend, with a little lightning to boot.

From 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, the Medford airport, where the city’s readings are taken, received 0.56 inch of rain, National Weather Service meteorologist Misty Firmin said. Ashland received 0.57 inch during the same period, while Talent saw 0.69 inch and Eagle Point saw 0.58 inch, Firmin said.

Another monitoring station in the Medford area recorded nearly 0.75 inch, she added.

The moisture was welcome, but it’s not going to make a huge impact on the county’s drought conditions.

“It certainly helps, but it’s hard to say at this point how much,” Firmin said. “Every drop helps, but it’s not going to erase the debt.”

Last month, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners declared a local disaster due to drought conditions. As of May 14, the U.S. drought monitor’s most current data showed Jackson and Josephine counties remained under moderate to extreme drought conditions.

The Oregon Department of Forestry declared fire season for southwestern Oregon counties May 1 due to the dry conditions.

Twenty-four lightning strikes were recorded Sunday in Jackson County, much of it in the county’s northeast corner near Union Creek and Prospect.

“There was another ... cluster around Jacksonville (and) Central Point,” Firmin said.

ODF officials said the wet weather seems to have prevented any lightning-caused fires, but the agency will be on the lookout.

“We will be keeping an eye on the whole area,” said ODF spokesman Brian Ballou.

Scattered showers continued Monday and were in the forecast for Tuesday. Clearing is expected Wednesday.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.

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