Weather Eye: Thunderstorm was something to write home about
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Happy Memorial Day!
Friday evening we had awesome displays of nature's fireworks as a large band of thunderstorms rocked our corner of the world. A low over northeast Nevada rotated moisture and instability north over the Cascades, then continued west and south.
I believe this was the loudest, heaviest thunderstorm I have seen in years, mainly because of its persistence before moving south.
There were over 250 lightning strikes detected -- which don't include all the cloud-to-cloud flashes. If you were caught under one of the torrential downpours it surely seemed like a monsoon event. I measured 1.47 inches of rain, which flooded the streets curb to curb. Other areas had half that and some hardly any.
Ice pellets covered the ground in some locations, ranging to over pea size. Strong winds scattered twigs and branches about. It didn't take temperatures long to fall. As the storms reached my home in Salmon Creek, I was basking in sunshine and 73 degrees. Later, the mercury dropped a good 20 degrees.
Several readers commented that it seemed like a war zone or the end of the world. A few claps certainly rocked the dishes in the cabinets. I can only imagine what our little canine friends were thinking.
But that was then, and today it's more low clouds and drizzle or sprinkles, and again on Memorial Day. There might be a sun break Monday. High temperatures will be five to ten degrees below normal. Tuesday and Wednesday get back to seasonal highs or a little above.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://weathersystems.com.