Wildfire threat out west: The risk for fires remains elevated from the Great Basin to the Desert Southwest due to windy, very arid weather. Dry thunderstorms will add to the risk of wildfire development in the eastern half of Oregon and the western half of New Mexico. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Red Flag Warnings across the region, including the Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix metro areas where smoke could reduce driver visibility. The Woodbury Fire just east of Phoenix, for example, has spread across more than 123,000 acres since it was discovered on June 8.
Stormy day in the High Plains: The focus for numerous severe thunderstorms today and tonight is from Montana to North Dakota. These storms will be capable of producing very large hail, intense wind gusts, torrential rainfall and perhaps isolated tornadoes from Missoula and Butte to Great Falls, Glasgow, Glendive and Minot. Drivers will run into delays on portions of the I-15, I-90 and I-94 corridors, and roadblocks are possible due to localized flash flooding. Several severe storms could also pop up from southern Minnesota to far northern Illinois, including Minneapolis, Green Bay, La Crosse and Milwaukee.
Tropical update: Yesterday, Tropical Storm Alvin became the first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season. As of this morning, Alvin’s sustained winds maxed out at 60 mph. The storm is several hundred miles west of Central America and is forecast to move westward, farther out in the Pacific. Alvin isn’t a threat to anybody on land, but crews on cargo ships will have to steer clear.