Originally published September 22, 2012, 8:47 a.m. PT
The dry lightning that is in the forecast for portions of Washington and Oregon could bring more fires to an area that already has its hands full dealing with dozens of blazes. On Friday the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for the lightning, but now the timing of the event has changed. That forecast predicted it would begin Friday night, but a revision now says isolated to scattered lightning will start Saturday night and continue through Sunday night.
The areas affected include the Cascade Mountains in central and north Oregon, the southern Washington Cascades, and the Columbia basin in Washington. If any rain occurs, it will be light and amounting to less than 1/10 inch. The thunderstorms will be high-based and could produce outflow winds of up to 45 mph.
We are not aware of a large amount of lightning that has occurred in this area yet this weekend, however as of 8:45 a.m. PT, there have been a couple of positive strikes detected very recently in north-central Oregon, which seems to be ahead of the NWS’s revised schedule.
We will update this article later on Saturday if we hear of any significant dry lightning occurring. I hope our loyal readers in Washington and Oregon will post comments about their observations as well.
The map below shows the Red Flag Warnings for Washington and Oregon and a Fire Weather Watch for western Utah.
The smoke map indicates that wildfire smoke created in Washington and Idaho is migrating across the southern tier of states.