Jackson County sees rain, lightning overnight
Updated 9:55 a.m.
Some light sleepers in Jackson County may have awakened to a thunderous light show with a wet soundtrack early today.
National Weather Service officials said a thunderstorm drifted over area between 1 and 2 a.m. today, lighting up the sky and dropping some rain. But only seven of the lightning bolts touched down during the action: five in the triangular area between Jacksonville, Medford and Central Point, and the other two outside Ruch.
"Most of it was cloud to cloud, which I guess is a good thing," said meteorologist Misty Duncan.
Oregon Department of Forestry officials reported there were no new lightning-sparked fires to speak of this morning, but that crews would run aerial reconnaissance through the day to look for smoke. Rain also fell around parts of the county, with five-hundredths reported in Medford and one-fifth of an inch in Central Point.
More lightning could be on the way for areas surrounding the Rogue Valley. A red flag warning is in effect from 1 to 11 p.m. today. The areas covered by the warning include the eastern Rogue Valley, Siskiyou Mountains, western Klamath National Forest, parts of Siskiyou County, Southern Oregon Cascades, and Fremont-Winema National Forest. Scattered thunderstorms are expected, especially along the higher elevations. There is also a chance for winds with gusts of 30 to 50 mph, which could fan the flames of any new lightning-sparked fire starts.
"While wetting rain will occur in some slower moving storm cores, lightning outside of the storm cores along with the gusty outflow winds will lead to new fire starts that will spread," a Weather Service message reads.
— Ryan Pfeil