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Fox News Weather Center

Southwest Storms to Aid Wildfire Efforts

An increase in moisture from the Southwest monsoon will fuel showers and heavy thunderstorms across the interior West through the weekend.

While rain from these storms will help battle the ongoing drought and raging wildfires, torrential downpours can lead to flash flooding around major cities in the region.

Most of the showers and thunderstorms can be expected during the afternoon and continue into the night; however, a few morning showers cannot be ruled out.

The zone of heaviest thunderstorms is forecast to stretch from western Texas to Colorado on Friday before shifting west over the weekend.

Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, Arizona; Las Vegas; and Cedar City, Utah, are a few cities that could be hit with multiple disruptive thunderstorms through Sunday evening.

Moisture associated with the monsoon will also reach up towards the Pacific Northwest, allowing for spotty thunderstorms to develop as far north as Oregon and Idaho.

Unfortunately for those in California looking for some relief from the ongoing drought, it does not appear like much more than clouds will make it west of the Sierra Nevada.

Although the storms bring the danger of flash flooding, water from the storms will help crews battle some of the wildfires raging across the region.

According to the Incident Information System, there are currently dozens of active wildfires across the West spanning from Arizona to Washington.

The Yosemite Fire is one of the more well known fires burning in the West and began on July 26th, according to the National Park Service.

In their most recent report, the National Park Service says that more than 1,000 personnel are fighting the blaze which has consumed at least 3,900 acres.

The Associated Press also reported on the blaze, saying that evacuations that were put in place will soon come to an end as containment has risen to 58 percent.

Not all of the thunderstorms across the region will help battle against the blazes, however.

In some cases across the Pacific Northwest where the monsoonal moisture will not be as abundant, some of the thunderstorms may bring little to no rain.

During these storms, commonly called dry thunderstorms, lightning strikes can spark new wildfires.

Looking ahead to the upcoming week, daily thunderstorm activity is expected to continue.

The focus of the heavy thunderstorms may try and push north into Tuesday, possibly raising flooding concerns in Utah and Wyoming.