The weather in the western U.S. today features areas prone to wildfires, flash flooding, and more sizzling heat. Severe storms could pop up in the Midwest. Also, there’s also a tropical storm in the Pacific, not far from Japan.
More fire and rain
Look for another round of scattered thunderstorms across the Four Corners states and the Great Basin, as the monsoonal moisture sticks around today and tonight. Heavy rain could lead to localized flash flooding in the following areas, with totals of one to three inches possible in a short period of time:
• From just south of Salt Lake City into eastern Nevada, affecting the I-15, I-70 and I-80 corridors.
• From Denver to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, affecting the I-25 corridor.
• From Albuquerque and Santa Fe to eastern Arizona, affecting the I-25 and I-40 corridors, especially in the high elevations of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Debris flows are possible if heavy rain falls in wildfire burn scar areas. So, drivers may run into roadblocks. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch for these areas.
Meanwhile, there’s an elevated risk of wildfires from central Washington state to north-central Oregon. Hot, dry, and breezy conditions will be conducive to wildfire development and the quick spreading of any existing fires. Areas of patchy smoke are likely along the I-84 corridor in the eastern Columbia River gorge, in addition to the eastern slopes of the Cascades and adjacent valleys. The NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning for these areas.
The heat wave continues today in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Highs will reach 100° to 108° from Merced and Fresno to Hanford and Bakersfield. The NWS has issued a Heat Advisory for these areas. The weather will likely get a bit hotter this weekend, spreading northward toward Stockton, Sacramento and Redding, as well as to inland communities just east of San Francisco. Drivers: pack plenty of extra ice and water, and be sure to take your breaks in air-conditioned spaces.
Severe thunderstorms could produce large hail and very gusty winds from International Falls and Duluth, Minnesota, crossing Lake Superior into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Severe storms may also pop up from Minneapolis to northern Wisconsin, too, but will be less numerous. Nebraska could get hit with a few severe storms as well, mainly north of I-80.
Tropical Storm Nari is centered about 375 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan. Sustained winds are up to 40 mph, gusting to 52 mph. The storm is forecast to weaken a bit as it approaches Japan this weekend, but minor delays to ocean cargo are possible, including at the Port of Tokyo. In the map directly above, FreightWaves SONAR also shows several oil refineries in the Nari’s path.
Have a great day and a great weekend, and be careful out there!