Forecasting Kitsap

Aspiring weatherman Matthew Leach talks about the complex and intricate weather patterns over Kitsap.
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Thunder and lightning storm debrief

July 9th, 2012 by Matthew Leach

What in the world happened last night?!

At around 12:00 am this morning I saw a bright flash of light, followed by low rumbles and the first thing that came to my mind was: fireworks! Pretty late in the game to be setting them off, but some people just can’t let it go. Of course, it wasn’t fireworks at all. Western Washington had its rare taste of summer thunderstorms, and unexpectedly at that!

So, like any weatherman would do, let’s start with the excuses as to why that happened. :) Rather impressive thunderstorm activity developed over the Cascades (as expected), but thanks to some strong upper level winds those storms were carried over the mountains and through the woods right into our neighborhood. The lightning show didn’t last very long, and if you were sleeping at around midnight last night, it’s likely you didn’t even know anything out of the ordinary happened.

For those who like thunderstorms, what we just experienced was pretty lucky. It’s hard to get genuine thunderstorms here because of our typically cool, marine climate, so if we are to ever get them, it’s in the summer time. Be advised, however, that over the next 24 hours the cascade mountains are still expected to experience some pretty stormy and unsettled weather.

Also, you may notice the clouds this morning. This is due to the onshore flow, or marine influence, spoken about in the previous blog post. Don’t worry, your picnic isn’t ruined! In fact, we’ll likely dance on either end of 80 degrees today once the clouds burn away.

Marine clouds will be pesky tomorrow as well with temperatures stalling a bit in the 70s, but Wednesday skies clear and give way to upper 70s/low 80s once again.

No rain is in sight…yet. There’s always a wrinkle, so I’ll keep you updated. But as of now, we have another beautiful and warm weekend headed our way :)

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Send your weather photos, comments or questions to forecastingkitsap@live.com 

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16 Responses to “Thunder and lightning storm debrief”

  1. fletc3her Says:

    I woke up for the storm last night. I saw a couple clear lightning flashes which were really beautiful. Some people down the street were cheering for every flash.

  2. AndrewM Says:

    One extremely slow moving cell moved due north over Suquamish. Within 15 miles from 12-2AM, overhead at 1PM. Cloud strikes every 10-15 seconds for over a half hour with only one ground strike. Followed by .1″ rain in 20 minutes at 2AM.

  3. Matthew Leach Says:

    Wow! I was not aware Suquamish was under such an intense cell! Here in Silverdale we remained completely dry with only a few strikes. I don’t even think one hit the ground. Thanks for the update!

  4. Maryriver Says:

    Do we have Ali’i here? Somebody better count em!

  5. Mimi Says:

    I live in East Bremerton near Illahee state park. The storm started rolling closer at 12:30am. Finally rolled north at 1:30. The lightning flashes were constant. I even saw a few beautiful bolts going across the sky. We also had about 5 minutes of heavy rain. The lightning was amazing! I have never actually witnessed a lightning bolt before. Very cool.

  6. Todd Says:

    RE:
    AndrewM Says:
    July 9th, 2012 at 10:19 am
    One extremely slow moving cell moved due north over Suquamish. Within 15 miles from 12-2AM, overhead at 1PM. Cloud strikes every 10-15 seconds for over a half hour with only one ground strike. Followed by .1″ rain in 20 minutes at 2AM.

    I live in Kingston and echo what AndrewM said. It was a serious downpour and fully believe we got an inch in 20 minutes. At one point it was coming down so hard it sounded like hail. Pretty awesome light show!

  7. CMStewart Says:

    Marble sized hail in the Miller Bay area plus the monsoon like rain. Lightning and thunder eveywhere!

  8. Jill Davidson Says:

    Where I am in Ridgewood, Poulsbo (about 5 miles west of Suquamish) we had the thunder and lightening from 12:30 to 1:30, but we also had pea-sized hail. Our deck was covered.

  9. Shawn Hollis Says:

    I live by the Manette Bridge,I was up until around 3 watching the storm.AMAZING!

    I dont remember a storm quite like this,sheesh,in at least 15 years!

    I was able to capture some video,and I caught some decent flashes.I am communicating w/Matt via email on how to share it here.

  10. Shawn Hollis Says:

    Matt,I would like to point out,that around 5 pm I went shopping,and I did notice some odd clouds,and I had a gut feeling that somewhere close was going to be a thunderstorm.

  11. Kathi Trostad Says:

    My friend who lives off Lincoln Rd in Poulsbo said it poured. We live off Clear Creek and it was dry here which is good!
    Thought I was in Indiana!

  12. Jim G Says:

    The wind was the first indication here in Port Orchard. Took the dog out at 1 AM and felt the rain. Saw several sheet type of lightening and a couple of strikes. Thought I was in Indiana too!

  13. Matthew Leach Says:

    Thank you all for the updates around the peninsula! That sure helps me get an idea of how strange and unpredictable this storm really was.

  14. Scott Says:

    Ya it was moving v ery slow from Bremerton northward, counted 15 seconds flash-bang, then it was immediate about 20 mins later.

    Caught this with my GoPro but had to slow it down to 1/100th speed to get 3 frames in one photo.

    http://www.tngbbs.com/photo/nature/Lightning.jpg

  15. AndrewM Says:

    There was a fair amount of virga from little tiny clouds late afternoon – a fair warning of saturation & unstability.

    Not sure why, but the UW lightning loops are restricted:
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/
    It would be great to see a time lapse of the strikes

    You can just barely see the cell here:
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?ir4km_enhanced+/24h/
    Spun off near Tacoma at 11:45PM, traveled N to San Juans by 3AM

  16. wobbly Says:

    Had several strikes here in Eagledale on Bainbridge. One was about 800 feet away on New Sweden. Yesterday afternoon at about 5 I could taste the ozone in the air and saw virga in some of the patterned clouds so I put my tools and materials inside or under tarps. I could feel how unsettled the weather was. Nonetheless, I was surprised to be awakened at 1:30 by the extremely close strike! No hail here, but heavy rain for about 10 minutes. The entire thing moved on within 30 minutes. Its a rare thing here at any time of the year, but I cannot recall thunder and lightning in early July ever. The lightning last night was lime green in color.

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