Worsening drought plus warm, dry weather that just won’t quit

Weather

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Temperatures this morning start in the low to mid-50s with partly to mostly cloudy skies.

Expecting mostly sunny skies across Portland this afternoon with northerly winds increasing by afternoon. Daytime highs will be approaching or topping 80. Our normal high temp for Portland this time of year is 69. Winds may be gusting close to 25 mph in the valley by 5 p.m.

Thunderstorms are expected across central OR and portions of eastern OR this afternoon.

Declarations for an early fire season start this Saturday have been announced, affecting portions of central Oregon, including The Dalles. With the the enhanced fire danger in consideration, and expected thunderstorms, there is the potential for lightning to create new fire starts. The National Weather Service office in Medford issued a Red Flag Warning for this afternoon and evening for south central Oregon. This type of warning is the first of the year for this quadrant of Oregon and is considered extremely early for this time of year.

Drought conditions updated every Thursday on drought.gov

How our drought status has changed in the last week:

  • Drought across OR worsened from last week with no areas of improvement due to the lack of rain. Portland has only measured 0.07 inches of rain since the start of May.
  • 100% of OR is still in some form of drought
  • Moderate and Severe drought categories worsened to 91.5% and 71.7%, respectively
  • NW Oregon including the Willamette Valley went from abnormally dry to the severe drought category quickly

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Oregon lasted 270 weeks beginning on December 27, 2011, and ending on February 21, 2017. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of November 11, 2003, where D4 affected 8.34% of Oregon land.

https://www.drought.gov/states/oregon

Red flag warning

Central Siskiyou County Including Shasta Valley-Shasta- Trinity National Forest in Siskiyou County- Siskiyou County from the Cascade Mountains East and South to Mt Shasta-Modoc County Except for the Surprise Valley- Klamath Basin and the Fremont-Winema National Forest-

RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM TO 11 PM PDT FRIDAY FOR ABUNDANT LIGHTNING ON DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 281…282… 284…285 AND 624.

The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a Red Flag Warning which is in effect from 2 PM to 11 PM PDT Friday.

* Impacts: Lightning and moderate to high fire danger will likely result in new fire starts. Gusty thunderstorm winds could contribute to fire spread. Despite rainfall, initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and holdover fires are possible.

* Affected area: In Northern CA Fire Zones…281…282…284…285 which includes most of central and eastern Siskiyou County and the northwest portion of Modoc County. In South Central OR Fire Zone….624 which includes the majority of Klamath County and the western fringes of Lake County.

* Wind: Northwest 5 to 10 mph except erratic wind gusts to 40 mph near any thunderstorms.

* Thunderstorms: Isolated to scattered.

* Rainfall: Storms will produce some rainfall, but wetting rains are not expected.

* A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. Scattered thunderstorms combined with dry fuels create conditions where many fire starts may occur in a short period of time.

https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=pqr&wwa=red%20flag%20warning

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