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Rain in the weekend forecast

There is some discrepancy in the National Weather Service models as to exactly when the rain will start to fall in southwest Oregon this week, but forecasters are confident it’s coming.

As of Tuesday, the best opportunity appeared to be Friday night or Saturday morning, said meteorologist Brian Nieuwenhuis.

“Pretty good chance for wetting rains on every part of the forecast area,” Nieuwenhuis said.

A small disturbance could clear out some of the lingering wildfire smoke Thursday, when a small system is forecast to pass through south of the Rogue Valley. That come-and-go haze from Northern California wildfires has dissipated then regrouped since Oct. 1 for much of Jackson and Josephine counties, with air quality ranging from “good” to “unhealthy” during that time, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality data.

A sizable slice of Southern Oregon remains under an air quality alert until 5 p.m. Friday, including all of Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties, and portions of Douglas and Curry counties.

“Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality levels to fluctuate and could be at unhealthy levels,” according to the Weather Service.

When the rain will fall and how much will quench the landscape remain to be seen. Tuesday estimates said the Oregon Coast could receive up to an inch, while parts of the Rogue Valley could receive a quarter inch, Nieuwenhuis said.

Areas burned in the recent wildfires are a concern because of the potential flooding that can result from rain falling on burn scars.

“We’re watching that,” Nieuwenhuis said. “It doesn’t look like that’s a threat right now, but we’ll have to wait and see for some localized effects.”

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.