Valley drenched during storm; Washington hit by barrage of lightning

Valley drenched during storm; Washington hit by barrage of lightning
Lightning strike over Anacortes, Wash. (Photo from Tony D. Locke Photography)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The mid-Willamette Valley got drenched during the storm that rolled through the region on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Turner saw the most rain during the storm, according to preliminary totals from the National Weather Service. The town just outside Salem got an astounding 4.49 inches of rain as of Friday morning.

Albany wasn’t far behind at 4.34 inches, while Aumsville got just more than 3.5 inches.

Typically Salem averages 1.43 inches of rain for the entire month of September, but during this latest storm alone they got just under 2 inches.

KATU viewers sent in several pictures of localized flooding where storm drains were overwhelmed.

Portland got around 0.9 inches of rain, which is good for about two-thirds of our average monthly total.

KATU meteorologist Rhonda Shelby said Portland didn’t get as many thunderstorms as other areas because the weather system was so saturated with moisture by the time it reached the metro area. That prevented the afternoon warming that leads to instability in the atmosphere and lightning.

The skies will begin to clear up around noon on Friday and by the weekend we should be back to typical late-summer weather. | Read the latest KATU forecast

Central Oregon saw some severe thunderstorms from this latest weather system, including golf ball-sized hail in some places.

Lightning also was extreme over much of Washington. KATU’s VIPIR radar counted more than 11,000 lightning strikes as of 5 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service said at the storm's peak Thursday night in the Puget Sound area, lightning strikes were occurring at the rate of 500 strikes per hour.

Seattle saw 1.73 inches of rain in 24 hours, which smashed the old daily record of 0.36 inches.

But it was the non-stop lightning that got the most attention with the storm. Greg Johnson, who runs Skunkbayweather.com had his dual time-lapse cameras rolling toward Whidbey Island when an hours-long thunderstorm rolled through there.

His cameras captured several lightning strikes, which make for quite the dramatic presentation when put into time lapse:





And here are both cameras seamed together: