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Higher Las Vegas elevations could see storm activity Tuesday

Updated July 21, 2020 - 8:20 am

Higher elevations around the Las Vegas Valley could see storm activity Tuesday, the National Weather Service says.

“There is lightning and showers now in very southern Clark County near Searchlight, Laughlin and Cal-Nev-Ari and it is moving northward,” meteorologist Kate Guillet said at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. “There’s a chance it could make its way to the valley.”

Most of the shower activity was breaking up as it moved north.

Winds in the valley are expected to be 5 to 11 mph with a forecast high of 107.

Wednesday will probably have stronger winds with gusts to 25 mph, Guillet said. The high will be around 106.

Red flag warning

A forecast of isolated thunderstorms and strong winds has prompted the weather service to issue a red flag warning for the region until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The 1,800-acre Cottonwoood Fire that began near Mount Potosi late Monday afternoon was caused by lightning, according to a U.S. Forest official.

“It is so dry and lightning with gusty winds could easily spark fires,” Guillet said.

“Isolated dry thunderstorms are expected Tuesday for much of Southern Nevada and northwest Arizona,” the warning states. “Due to the very dry nature of fuels in these areas as well as the increased potential for fire starts due to cloud to ground lightning, an increased wildfire risk will be present. Additionally, the very dry atmosphere will also result in the potential for gusty outflow winds with these thunderstorms which could aid in the wildfire spread risk and make them highly difficult to extinguish.”

Highly variable winds may reach 40 mph, mostly confined to thunderstorm outflows while the humidity will be 5-15 percent. The thunderstorms will probably produce little rainfall but could generate lightning, which is likely to create multiple fire starts.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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