The weather conditions continue to present problems for firefighters in the West as blistering heat and bone dry brush fuel 63 large wildfires the region.
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The Carr Fire in Shasta County, California, is now over 100,000 acres, while the Ferguson Fire, in Mariposa County, California, is at 57,041 acres and now 30 percent contained. Firefighters are working to prevent the fire from spreading into Yosemite National Park.
The above-average heat remains in parts of the Northwest, where heat advisories and excessive heat warnings are in effect for Oregon, Washington and Idaho. High temperatures in parts of the inland areas of Oregon and Washington will reach 100 degrees or higher.
New fire weather alerts have been issued for parts of northern Nevada and eastern Oregon for critical fire conditions over the next few days as winds kick up from the west.
In Northern California, temperatures are now seasonably warm — with temperatures at or above 100 degrees a common occurrence this time of the year. Temperatures will reach a few degrees above 100 today from Bakersfield to Redding, California.
Unfortunately, because this time of the year is the hottest and driest period for this region, there is no significant relief in sight. Redding, Sacramento, Fresno and Lakeport all look to be quite warm through the remainder of the week with no significant cool down in sight.
More torrential rain coming
Yet another wet pattern is taking shape across the eastern U.S. this week. The combination of a approaching frontal system from the West and a strong high-pressure system pumping up moisture from the tropics will bring widespread thunderstorms across the East Coast through the next several days.
The wet pattern comes as many sites in the eastern U.S. are setting notable rainfall records — primarily due to torrential rainfall last week.
Wilmington, North Carolina, has received 55.93 inches of rain so far in 2018, over 2 feet above their year-to-date average. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has now seen its wettest July on record, and its fourth wettest month on record.
There are already thunderstorms with torrential downpours developing in parts of the Southeast this morning. Nearly 2 to 5 inches of rainfall is being estimated by radar in parts of southwest Virginia and western North Carolina this morning. Rainfall rates of 2 inches per hour have caused flash flooding for parts of the region and a flash flood warning is in effect this morning.
Numerous thunderstorms will develop along the Gulf, Southeast and mid-Atlantic today. On Wednesday and Thursday, tropical moisture will increase across the eastern U.S., and the chance for torrential downpours will increase from Biloxi, Mississippi, all the way to Albany, New York. The most intense rainfall is expected across parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. However, any slow-moving thunderstorm across the East Coast could produce torrential rainfall and cause flash flooding.
By Saturday, rainfall totals could reach 3 to 6 inches in parts of the Southeast, especially along the southern Appalachians. Widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches is likely from Florida to Pennsylvania. Flash flooding will remain a concern through much of the East Coast through the remainder of this week.