Up Next: Less Heat, Less Smoke, More Chance Of Lightning

Aug 4, 2017

Temperatures backed off from record levels in Oregon and California Friday, but the days ahead might be no picnic.

Smoke hangs in the hills east of Ashland.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

National Weather Service forecasts show an increase in the chance of thunderstorms, well into next week.

A greater chance of lightning means a greater chance of fires.

The region is already home to several wildfires, with smoke from those and from a mass of fires in British Columbia fouling air quality in western valleys.  Strong west winds are expected to push some of the smoke east of the Cascades during the weekend.  But winds that can push smoke away can also fan fires.

Friday's high temperatures showed a decline from Thursday, but not a big one.  Portland, Eugene, Roseburg, and Medford all set record highs on Thursday.  Medford topped out at 109, but Friday at 5 PM saw only 100.

It probably didn't feel like "only" to anyone forced to be outside.  But the trend is steadily downward, toward something more like average temperatures by late next week.