Drenching Desert Storms

By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
August 31, 2012; 5:45 PM ET
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The pop-up storms will bring the usual risk of dry lightning and localized brief gusts of wind. However, due to the high humidity, there is a greater chance of flash flooding with this event. (Photos.com image)

Spotty thunderstorms will drench some desert and high-elevation areas Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon and evening.

The storms will bring the potential for isolated flash flooding.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "The combination of monsoon moisture from the Gulf of California and Mexico with a weak disturbance will be responsible for more pop-up storms than usual."

The thunderstorms may vacate Southern California over the weekend, but at the very least, spotty storms would continue from Nevada and Arizona to New Mexico and Colorado.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are also monitoring the movement of Ileana, a hurricane as of midday Thursday, off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific.

"While cool water would lead to the dissipation of the system if it were to drift toward Southern California, the vast majority of such systems also turn westward, well away from the area," Clark stated.

There is a slight chance of the system moving far enough to the north to bring more clouds and spotty showers to coastal California by early next week. Moisture from the system could simply enhance the already existent thundershower activity over the interior Southwest.

"Steering winds are just so weak over the southwestern United States at this time, that a system such as Ileana, or its remnants could wander just about anywhere several days out," Clark added.

Weak surface winds and high humidity may also contribute to pollutants being trapped and more noticeable in the lower layers of the atmosphere.

While the origin of the strange odor Thursday morning in the Palm Springs area cannot be confirmed, it is possible that an algae build up, or perhaps a fish die-off in the Salton Sea "could" be to blame.

The same sort of weather conditions will be present Friday morning. If the source is still there, the smell may be noticeable for a few hours once again.

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