April 22, 2022

Why so little lightning in the Pacific Northwest? And a very nice weekend ahead.

During the past 24-hours, there have been a few lightning strokes over the region (see below) but nothing to write home about (see below).

It turns out that the Pacific Northwest and the remainder of the West Coast have some of the lowest frequencies of thunderstorms in the entire country (see below).

But why?    My podcast provides the answer.

And I also give the weekend forecast....and I think most will like what I have to say.

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  1. Having grown up here, I can count on probably both hands over the past 50 years when we've had more than a flash or two of lightning, maybe a clap of thunder and that's it. Sept 2019 was a major exception, that major storm that blew in Puget Sound early that month and lasted several hours, creating over 200 ground to cloud strikes, just in Seattle alone, but I think the total count was around 2000 of them and you pointed out that the Blob that had been pervasive in the northern Pacific was to blame for some of that as we had the rare for us trifecta to make these happen in a big way.

    Nice to know the weekend will be nice, maybe I can get in a second mowing of the mowing season during this time.

  2. Thank you for responding to my previous observation about lightning in this area.

  3. I believe the map of thunderstorm days for Eastern Washington, especially over the highlands of the Okanogan and Northeast Washington, undercounts the actual number. A climatological study of thunderstorm days using reports from fire lookouts, made in the 1930s to about 1960, showed an average of closer to 30 days for these mountain areas, and these were just the summer months when these lookouts were manned.


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