Thunderstorms could be coming this afternoon

There could be thunder and lightning in the skies over the Rogue Valley during the afternoon hours today.

Weather officials said a low pressure system moving into the area around 1 p.m. will bring the potential show. The system has a negative tilt, meaning it tilts back toward the west instead of running parallel to lines of longitude. Meteorologists say this increases its instability.

"That should make a slight chance for thunderstorms throughout much of the area today," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Ottenweller. "Probably the best chance is the middle of the afternoon, the 1 to 4 o'clock time frame."

There will also be significant winds, especially in Ashland, Talent and Phoenix. Speeds could reach 25 mph with up to 35 mph gusts. Those winds should slacken during the evening hours.

Not very much rain is predicted, possibly one-tenth of an inch in Medford and up to one-fourth of an inch in Ashland.

It's the first of several storm systems to come into the area through the weekend into Monday, with more rain predicted for Friday night and additional showers Sunday. As much as one-half inch could fall in Medford over the weekend, with up to three-fourths of an inch predicted for Ashland.

"It's going to stay wet around here for the next several days," Ottenweller said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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