Weather

Thunderstorms flare up in Sacramento area

Lightning strikes over trees in El Dorado on Friday, June 5, 2015.
Lightning strikes over trees in El Dorado on Friday, June 5, 2015. rbenton@sacbee.com

Thunderstorms that started on the west side of the Sierra late Friday afternoon made their way slowly through the foothills and Sacramento Valley during the evening.

Johnny Powell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Pacific House received more than an inch of rain within an hour. The storm dropped a half-inch of rain in Auburn, and a weather spotter in the Camino area reported 0.4 inches, he said.

The storms, which brought hail and heavy rain in the Pollock Pines area earlier Friday, carried heavy rain, hail, lightning strikes and gusty winds toward Interstate 80, Highway 50 and Highway 70.

As of about 8:30 p.m., the system was just north of the North Highlands and Rio Linda area, and Powell said it was expected to move through the Davis area by about 10:30 p.m.

A significant weather advisory was in place for the Sacramento metro area, Chico, Paradise and Oroville through 9 p.m., according to the weather service. It warned that the cluster of storms was to likely cause pea- to marble-size hail to fall around the Auburn area and possibly into the northeast suburbs of Sacramento, the weather service reports. Thunder was heard and flashes of lightning were seen in midtown Sacramento at 8:25 p.m., and in the Natomas area just before 9 p.m.

Powell said Saturday’s forecast includes a chance of thunder showers in the Sierra. But he said it is unusual for such storms to hold together long enough to make their way into the valley, as they did Friday.

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