- Northern West Coast (PNW Washington)
About 2,050 lightning strikes were recorded in western Washington state during a storm that caused widespread power outages Saturday night, the National Weather Service said.
A strong line of thunderstorms developed over western Washington, bringing frequent lightning, heavy rains, flooding and hail to the Puget Sound region, according to the National Weather Service's office in Seattle. The 2,050 lightning strikes were between a two day period, Friday 9/8-9/19 in the evening hours local time, it said. Of those, 200 were recorded in the Seattle metro area from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lightning occurs when ice particles within a cloud interact with each other through collision, causing the particles to fracture and break apart, according to NASA.
The intense heat of the lightning generates a sound called thunder that is transmitted through the air at the speed of sound, it added. Lightning and thunder happen at the same time but since light travels faster than sound, the flash of lightning is seen sooner than thunder is heard.
"When lightning strikes, a bright flash of light is generated. Light travels at a constant 186,000 miles/second, which means that we see the flash immediately as it happens," NASA said.
At its peak, the lightning storm caused power outages to over 4,500 customers, according to Seattle City Light. The storm also delayed the football game between University of Washington and UC Berkeley at Husky Stadium. It also caused an early closure of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.
Here in Eastern Washington strong thunderstorm cells produced funnel clouds in the eastern portions of Kittitas County bear the Grant County line. One cell crossed over the ML area from 4:30am - 5:25am pst interrupted fiber optic internet resetting psi internet connections as well as waking many from their sleep as a violent roar of thunder crackled and echoed through the sky. The storm cells also knocked out power to customers in southern Douglas county.
Story helped written by Faith Karimi & Artemis Moshtaghain