Late-summer lightning rolls through Clark County

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

Published:

Updated: September 3, 2013, 7:38 PM

 

A late-summer lightning storm rolled through the region early Tuesday morning, producing dozens of flashes of lightning over Clark County.

A total of 19 lightning strikes were detected on the ground in Clark County alone, said Jeremiah Pyle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. That number doesn’t include many more “cloud-to-cloud” strikes that never touched down, Pyle said.

The weather service hadn’t received any reports of damage Tuesday morning, Pyle said. But there may have been some close calls — Vancouver City Council member Jack Burkman posted a photo of a downed tree branch on his Facebook page. He later wrote that the severed limb caused no damage.

The lightning caused at least two large but relatively brief power outages, said Clark Public Utilities spokeswoman Erica Erland. The first outage, at 1:20 a.m., left about 3,000 customers in north Clark County in the dark for less than an hour. A second outage affected some 4,000 people in the Battle Ground area at about 4 a.m., but only for a moment, Erland said. Other outages were fleeting, she added.

“We did have several blinks,” Erland said.

Most of the lightning in Clark County flashed between about midnight Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday, Pyle said. Shower activity dissipated and gave way to sunshine later in the day, and conditions should stay mostly dry today, he said. But another potentially potent system could arrive late today into Thursday, Pyle said.

“Definitely some shower activity, maybe some more thunder,” he said.

Conditions should clear up again by the end of the week, according to the weather service. High temperatures in Vancouver are expected to land in the upper 70s and low 80s this weekend.