Thunder and lightning storms aren’t super common weather events in our region, so when they happen here, social media tends to light up — as do the phones at the National Weather Service.
The folks at the weather service’s Seattle office counted about 250 reports of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes on Tuesday night, meteorologist Dana Felton said. They didn’t try to track the number of cloud-to-cloud strikes.
“It made for a pretty good show for us,” he said. “It doesn’t happen too often.”
Seattle residents likely missed the spectacle, he said, as the cells instead hit places such as Olympia, Bellingham, Everett, Orting and Enumclaw.
Lightning occurs when positive and negative charges build up inside a cloud and “hook up with one another” or hook up with charges on the ground, said Felton.
The bolt of lightning heats the air rapidly, causing the “boom” sound of thunder afterward, Felton said.