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Central California besieged by 6,000 lightning strikes during wild weekend storms

Another tropical system delivered summer storms and a brilliant light show to parts of California.

SACRAMENTO, California — Thunderstorms moved through Central California this weekend with a wild night of lightning and periods of heavy rain. The storms were enhanced by some midlevel moisture moving toward California from Hurricane Jova, which is now just a post-tropical low.

Rainfall amounts varied with nearly 0.50-0.75" in parts of the Sierra foothills and about 0.05-0.20" in the valley. Some of the bigger totals reported include Oakdale with 0.20" of rain and nearly 0.70" near Strawberry in Tuolumne County.

Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties not only had rain but numerous lightning strikes. The National Lightning Detection Network detected 1,034 lightning strikes by Saturday evening in the region.

The Monterey National Weather Service office reported over 6,000 lightning strikes from the coast to the hills in an 18-hour time period.

Along with the light display, came sports delays and even power outages.

At one point, there were nearly 25,000 people without power Saturday night. By Sunday, most people had power restored but as of 8:00 p.m. there were still roughly 6,000 people still without power. Most of the outages were in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Isolated storms continued Sunday with periods of heavy rain with a Flood Advisory issued for Highway 108 around Sonora Pass and near Kennedy Meadows shortly before 6:00 p.m. The advisory was canceled early since the storms weakened.

There's a slight chance of a thunderstorm Monday afternoon in the Tahoe Basin, but the best chance for storms will remain east of the crest.

Sunny skies return to the forecast as the weakening tropical system moves west and high pressure remains dominant in the forecast.


6,000 Lightning Strikes | Another tropical system brings lightning storm to Central California

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