Weather

Sacramento region set to warm up after bout of lightning, rain

A National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration satellite image shows clouds with rain over the Pacific Northwest. A low-pressure system brought thunderstorms to the Sacramento region the night of Saturday, Oct. 4, 2015, but clear conditions are expected through the week.
A National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration satellite image shows clouds with rain over the Pacific Northwest. A low-pressure system brought thunderstorms to the Sacramento region the night of Saturday, Oct. 4, 2015, but clear conditions are expected through the week. Weather Underground

Echoing thunder and lightning dazzled – and rattled – Sacramentans on Saturday night, as a low-pressure system brought showers to the region.

Overnight, the city recorded roughly a tenth of an inch of precipitation, according to Nathan Owen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Meanwhile, areas throughout the South Lake Tahoe region collected anywhere from two-tenths to seven-tenths of an inch of rain.

Several “popcornlike” claps of thunder and lightning strikes, which moved quickly in and out of the region, accompanied Saturday night’s rain, according to the weather service.

These types of storms are not abnormal for the fall months but are more commonly experienced over the Sierra than the Sacramento Valley this time of year, said forecaster Brooke Bingaman, also with the National Weather Service.

Spectators throughout the region took to social media, sharing photos and expressing their alarm over the storms.

“A big boom overhead seems a lot scarier to most people than when it’s hundreds of miles away in the Sierra,” Bingaman said. “(The storm) was not considered severe but seemed a lot more threatening than it actually was.”

The southerly low-pressure system originated over the Pacific Northwest, rather than the ocean, carrying less moisture and resulting in a relatively dry storm, Bingaman said.

Still, the National Weather Service reported that the sprinkling of rain helped the region meet its normal rainfall totals since Oct. 1, when the service began measuring totals for the year.

“It’s nice to start the water year with some wet weather, after so many years of drought,” Bingaman said.

No damage was reported as a result of the lightning strikes, the weather service said. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District did not record any blackouts related to weather, spokesman Chris Capra said.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a sunny sky for the rest of the week, and Sacramento is expected to reach a high temperature of 78 degrees Monday. The average high temperature for this time of year is 83 degrees.

“Right now, we’re cooler than usual,” Owen said. “By the end of the week, we’re looking at near normal temperatures.”

Brenna Lyles: 916-321-1083, @BrennMLyles

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