The big round of thunder and lightning the Seattle area is seeing could last into the afternoon, though it will likely become more focused in the Cascade Mountain range as the day wears on, according to the National Weather Service of Seattle.

This storm could bring a half inch of rain to some areas in the Puget Sound region, which is very rare in August, according to meteorologist Maddie Kristell.

But when the low pressure system that was spinning off shore for the better part of a week met atmospheric instability and moisture, this was the result, she said.

Even though we are getting more rain than originally anticipated, a red flag warning remains in effect for portions of Western Washington.

Thunderstorms, dry weather prompt red flag warning in Western WA

“That long stretch of warm weather dried out the fuels,” Kristell said. “Lightning can cause wildfires,”

Advertising

“There’s not enough precipitation to outweigh the risk of lightning over dry fields,” she said.

The warning issued by the National Weather Service is in effect from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Affected areas include the eastern sides of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, along with areas near the coast on the Olympic Peninsula from Hoquiam north to Neah Bay.

“Thunderstorms can also bring sudden sharp wind shifts on existing fires, causing rapid changes in a fire’s rate of spread and direction of spread,” the Weather Service warned. “Thunderstorm outflow winds can be a threat for several hours following the start of a new lightning-cause fire.”

Kristell said the weather service is urging people to practice lightning safety — which generally means staying inside — even though it can be interesting to watch.

There are no major wildfires burning in Western Washington. Three larger wildfires are burning east of the Cascades, including the Cow Canyon, Vantage Highway and Williams Lake fires.

Track wildfires, air pollution and drought conditions throughout Washington, Oregon and British Columbia

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.