Rare Summer Storm Brings Threat of Dry Lighting Strikes to the Region

(Photo courtesy: KMPH Fox 26)

(KMJ) – According to the National Weather Service in Hanford, a rare summer storm event has the potential to produce lightning, rain, 30 MPH wind and even hail. It adds this is possible in some parts of the south Valley, particularly in Tulare and Kern Counties. And lightning could be seen in Fresno and Madera.

Early Wednesday morning, The NWS reported Doppler radar tracked nickel-sized hail falling in the Weedpatch area south of Bakersfield, and quarter-sized hail in McFarland.

Lightning in dry conditions caused by ongoing drought may keep firefighters busy. Fresno County firefighters were called to several reports of fires starting in the foothills from lightning strikes. Kern County firefighters reported working to put out brush fires after lightning strikes Wednesday morning

Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm, and buildings and vehicles can provide safe shelter.

In response to this weather, a strike force consisting of Calfire firefighters is standing by in Fresno County. This strike force, now stationed in Coalinga, includes one hand crew with roughly 15-20 people, five wild land engines with 16 emergency personnel, and one battalion chief.