This story has been updated.
MEDFORD, Ore. – A thunderstorm which rolled over the Rogue Valley Friday afternoon prompted the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement and severe thunderstorm watch.
The NWS’s Medford office said the special statement covered central Siskiyou County, Western Siskiyou County, the Siskiyou Mountains, the southern Oregon Cascades, and Jackson County. The affected areas could have experienced half-inch hail.
After the NWS issued the special statement, they issued a severe thunderstorm watch for southwest and central Oregon which was originally effective until 10:00 p.m. Friday. However, the watch for Douglas, Jackson and Klamath Counties ended an earlier than expected at 4:15 p.m.
Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning occurred during the storm, causing firefighters to be on the lookout for any wildfires sparked by lightning.
The amount of rain that accompanied the storm raises the risk of “holdovers,” or small fires that can smolder until conditions become drier. They can then flare up and grow to a larger fire.