[Updated] Thunder, lightning might revisit North Olympic Peninsula tonight, this weekend
By Arwyn Rice
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Friday the 13th weather?Uncharacteristic thunder, lightning and downpours rocked the North Olympic Peninsula overnight and into daybreak today.
And more might come tonight and/or Saturday night.
Port Angeles native Scott Sistek, meteorologist with our Seattle news partner, KOMO News, said this morning that more storm activity could form as early as this evening. Read Scott's blog and other up-to-date weather news and radar at www.komonews.com/weather .
The weather pattern, caused by a low-pressure system stalled over the South Olympic Peninsula, prompted these National Weather Service forecasts for the Olympic Peninsula for tonight and Saturday night:
Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m. Some of the storms could produce small hail. Mostly cloudy. West wind 6 to 8 mph.
Saturday night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.
And how did you and your family cope with the loud thunder, bright lightning and torrential rains overnight? Comment below (you must be registered with Facebook).
More storms moved west from the Seattle area this morning, and more thunder and lightning is possible through Sunday, including a series of thunderstorms that were moving west near Port Townsend at about 10:30 a.m. today, said Doug McDonnal, National Weather Service forecaster in Seattle.
“It's fairly rare, but we get this several days each year,” McDonnal said.
“This is certainly not an area where thunderstorms are common.”
A low pressure system stalled in Southern Washington, sending storms through the northwestern part of the state, McDonnal said.
Storms may cause heavy rain, small hail, and gusty winds, but are not expected to cause damage other than possible lighting strikes, he said.
A few small storms moved through the area just before midnight, he said, with two larger, stronger storms hitting overnight.
The stronger storm cells, which produced lightning and heavy rains, arrived in the Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles areas at about 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
About 2,000 Clallam County Public Utility District customers east of Port Angeles lost electrical power when lines near the Monroe Road substation were hit by lightning at about 6 a.m., said Mike Howe, spokesman for the PUD.
Power was partially restored by 10:30 a.m., and full restoration was expected by 11:15 a.m. today, Howe said.
In Port Angeles, the Washington Street substation went offline at 3:50 a.m. this morning, cutting electrical power to 900 customers, said Teresa Pierce, Port Angeles city spokeswoman.
Power was restored a little after 5 a.m., she said, adding that she did not know of any other outages.
The specific cause of the outage had not been determined by noon today.
Also in Port Angeles, lightning is suspected in an early morning house fire, said Port Angeles Sgt. Barbara McFall.
The cause of the 5:30 a.m. fire in the 700 block of Elizabeth Place off South Golf Course Road remains under investigation.
The fire seemed to be centralized in the attic area of the home, Pierce said.
Port Angeles Fire Department and Clallam County Fire District No. 2 firefighters responded to the fire.
In Jefferson County, lightning struck and split a tree in Chimacum near the Chimacum substation, said Jim Parker of the Jefferson County Public Utility District.
Puget Sound Energy, which provides power to East Jefferson County residents, did not report any power outages.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: July 13. 2012 1:38PM