Slight risk for severe thunderstorms for parts of Oregon Monday afternoon


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The risk for stronger storms has increased for Monday afternoon. This is following a busy 24 hour period of over 600 lightning strikes between Oregon and Washington.

With events like this, they can lead to new wildfires forming because of that lightning.

Credit: NWCC

We have another day of thunderstorms expected in Oregon, with a few trying to reach the fringes of Washington. With all that lightning that struck areas of the central Cascades on Sunday, we will likely see that total shift more to the east on Monday afternoon and evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has increased our thunderstorm potential in the afternoon from marginal to slight for locations all the way up to Baker City.

What is going to be the main threat heading into the afternoon? It is going to be lightning and moments of intense wind. It is not very often that we have slight risks for severe weather in Oregon, so this is likely going to be a fairly strong event when it comes to Oregon thunderstorms.

In a rare instance, we are at the top of the totem pole today for the risk of severe weather. Notice that across the United States, there are many locations that may experience thunderstorms, but we are at the highest of the risk for the day. I want to reiterate that you folks out in Baker City will be in this zone that is going to experience some of the stronger storms today. The timing of these storms will start as early as 2 p.m. and will continue through the evening. I think it is likely that have another day where we top off in the hundreds for lightning strikes.

Credit: SPC

A relatively strong southwest flow should help fuel these storms and there is just enough moisture to work with. Temperatures expected to reach the upper 90s so there will be plenty of sun and energy for these storms. Also, keep in mind, that with the gusty conditions there will be blowing dust and issues with fire spread.

Below is a weather model that will help depict what the late afternoon may bring around areas like Pendleton to Baker City. The storms may even produce a quick burst of heavy rain and potentially some hail. They should not carry far enough west to directly impact areas of the Gorge or the Willamette Valley. However, I wouldn’t rule out a small chance for areas like Madras and even The Dalles to see a few storms nearby.

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