Just before 5:00p, on July 2nd, the first of several thunderstorms began to form south of Ashland. A lightning strike from that storm is believed to have started a small 1/4 acre fire in the Belle Fiore Lane area. Jackson County Fire District 5 (JCFD5) responded and relayed that the accompanying moisture from the storm mostly extinguished the flames. Several JCFD5 units stayed on scene and conducted mop-up work to ensure safety.
As that storm cell began to simmer down, NWS Medford issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the Ashland and Butte Falls areas. The severe thunderstorm was located by radar 7 miles east of Roxy Ann Peak, or 9 miles north of Ashland, moving north at 15 mph. It packed high winds, lighting, and up to 1/4” hail. The weather warning expired at 6:30p.
Just before 7:30p, NWS Medford issued their second Severe Thunderstorm Warning of the evening. This one encompassed most of Medford, Central Point, and White City. Nearly 150,000 residents were told to prepare for up to 50mph winds, heavy rains, large hail, and abundant lighting.
The eastside of Medford was pummeled with heavy rains that caused isolated street flooding. Several urban streams also overflowed their banks. First responders were kept busy with reports of downed trees branches, clogged storm drains, and debris on roadways.
As the Medford area weather warning expired, NWS issued their final Severe Thunderstorm Warning of the night. At 7:44p residents of the Eagle Point area were dealing with the same severe weather the southern parts of the metro had just experienced. Close to 79,000 residents were instructed to stay indoors until the severe weather passed. At 8:00p, the weather warning expired.
There were a number of residents who described damaging “ice cube” sized hail, winds pushing patio furniture around, along with destroyed gardens and trees.
Authorities are diligently keeping an eye out for any potential new wildfires that may have ignited from the storms.
Below is some of the aftermath that Medford Alert documented of the storms.