18 Sep, 2020 05:15 am

Scattered storms in Willamette Valley, expected in areas burned by Oregon wildfires

Showers and thunderstorms are making their way north through the Willamette Valley, with some expected in the areas where several wildfires have been burning for more than a week. The storms are expected to wash out the smoke that has blanketed Western Oregon and put an end to widespread air quality warnings across the region. KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino reported the first lightning strike over the Cascade foothills, southeast of Canby,...

p KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said downpours could result in an inch of rain in certain areas over the span of 20 to 30 minutes "Heavy rain like that in these burned areas could lead to rapid runoff and even debris flows, where you have some downed trees and rocks and that type of things being moved around," he said.Forecast  | Radar |  Weather maps |  Watches, warnings & advisories ODGMI shared the following advice for anyone whose home, work or route is in a watch area: Hill also said while there may be lightning with the thunderstorms, he doesn't think it will pose a threat because of the amount of rain that will be coming down at the same time."The lightning will be right in the middle of these big-time downpours coming down, so I really don't think there's a reasonable threat for lightning to start any new fires," Hill said.Looking at the big picture, Hill said the rain is something the area desperately needs.

Once the rains come in Thursday night and breaks up the large smoke cloud that's been hovering over much of Oregon since Labor Day night, Hill said he doesn't think the bad air quality will return."Most days, since these fires started, we've had no wind gusts of more than 10 mph, so it's been the same smoke sitting overhead, with new smoke every day from the fires," Hill said.

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