Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If You Can Hear Thunder, Does That Mean There is Lightning?

Friends say the darndest things...

I don't have the same "drive" to update my blog in the summer as I do in the winter. You've probably noticed. But folks, this last week has been pretty amazing. I can't recall ever seeing a week with as much thunderstorms in the lowlands as this one. And while our Oklahoman summer transplants may scoff at a Pacific Northwest "thunderstorm," I'm still glad they've been around. They add a little excitement to the otherwise humdrum summers of the Pacific Northwest.

What's been causing all these thunderstorms? Well, I'm not the greatest person to ask. They don't occur very often here and I don't know much about them. But what I do know is that from late Thursday to early Saturday, we had a very tight upper level low pressure center essentially stall over our area, and it provided moisture and lift. With moisture and lift, you get convection, and convection creates thunderstorms.

Valid 02:00 pm PDT Fri, 13 Jul 2012 - 9hr Fcst - UW 12z 12km WRF-GFS 500mb absolute vorticity, heights (initialized 5 A.M. Friday the 13th)

It seems like we often get thunderstorms with this type of scenario. We get these low pressure centers that direct warm, humid southerly air off the cascades and allow thunderstorms to travel from the Cascades down into the lowlands. That's right, our weather often comes from the EAST in these scenarios. Definitely a thing to delve deeper into.

The weather for the future? Kinda boring. :/

But if you hear thunder, you can bet your buttons that lightning isn't too far away.


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