It’s been an interesting weather week: From hot to cloudy and humid to a noticeably cooler morning on Thursday, July 17.
For the past few days, large thunderheads have been building over the Sierra mountains each afternoon. Beginning Wednesday, July 16, Tulare County areas of the Sierra at elevations of 5,000 and above received a trace amount of rainfall as a result of the cloud buildup.
The National Weather Service in Hanford reports that on Tuesday, 1,297 lightning strikes occurred in Yosemite National Park with more than 350 reaching the ground. A couple of lightning-caused fires, an acre or less in size, have been reported on the east side of the Sierra.
The precipitation has also been more intense on the Sierra’s east side. On Wednesday, Devils Postpile National Monument was slammed with more than two inches of rain and hail.
Also that day in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, numerous lightning strikes occurred, but as of Thursday, no reports of fires had been received.
Remember: When thunder roars, get indoors. But if you’re hiking or in the backcountry and can’t get to a vehicle or building, then the next best thing to do is minimize the risk by staying off of mountaintops, ridges, and passes, and avoiding open areas, lone trees, and overhangs.