Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sometimes the weather gets downright scintillating around here...and last night was a good example. An intense convergence zone formed north of Seattle, with heavy rain and even some small hail/graupel. My house was inundated, with 1.25 inches over the day. The strong convection in the convergence zone produced about a half-dozen lightning strikes with rumbling thunder. Thunderstorms here are generally wimpy in the lightning department...often with 1-2 strokes for the entire event.
My profession has sensors for lightning strikes. Ever listen to the AM radio during thunderstorms and hear intermittent static...that can be caused by lightning. With the proper receivers and electronics one can determine the lightning stroke location and intensity. Below you see lightning graphics from our regional system for the half hours starting at 7:30 and 8 PM Tuesday night. You can see the Seattle strokes.
One of the lightning bolts hit a power pole in Laurelhurst near the home of one of my colleagues. They lost power as the transformer blew up and pole ignited. Took the Seattle fire department two visits to get it out. With bears on the lose and lightning burning up power poles, this city is starting to get fun.
Just some reminders:
We need supporters of the coastal radar acquisition at the community meeting on Thursday, May 28 at 10:30 AM sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell (NOAA Bldg 9 near Seattle Magnusson Park. The head of the National Weather Service will be there and we need him to know where we stand. You have to RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I will be giving a talk on a consumer's guide to NW weather at Barnes and Noble, Univ. Village, at 7:30 PM on Friday.
Posted by Cliff Mass at 5:36 PM