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DailyTidings.com
  • Hundreds of lightning strikes, hail reported in Jackson County

  • About 300 lightning strikes have touched down in Jackson County in the last four hours, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford.
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  • About 300 lightning strikes have touched down in Jackson County in the last four hours, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford.
    "They kind of exploded on the southern end of the valley between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.," said Ryan Sandler, meteorologist with the weather service in Medford.
    The strikes have started multiple fires across the county that have kept fire crews busy, and a reconnaissance plane is flying the area looking for smoke rising from freshly sparked fires.
    The storm carrying the lightning is letting go of plenty of rain, Sandler said. Nearly half an inch was reported just east of Talent.
    Dime-sized hail and 50 mph wind gusts were also reported in Rogue River at about 5 p.m., he said.
    "Lightning can strike well outside of the rain core ... and with the dry conditions, if you get a strike outside of the heavy rain, it may start a fire or a sleeper," he said.
    A "sleeper" is a fire that will burn minimally for a day or more before igniting into a full-fledged wildfire.
    "The good news is that the humidity is coming up, but the bad news is that the wind is coming up, too," he said.
    "We were highlighting this day as being a day of thunderstorms," he said. "It's definitely, for the county, one of the more active days."
    — Sam Wheeler
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