California experienced a rare lightning barrage of 66,000 strikes

California experienced a rare lightning barrage of 66,000 strikes

California just experienced one of its most extreme lightning outbursts in years. More than 66,000 lightning strikes lit up the skies across Southern California between Wednesday and Thursday morning, a rare barrage of thunderstorm activity in a state that’s facing its most extreme drought in 1,200 years. Some of the lightning was triggered by “dry thunderstorms,” which produce pinpoint bolts of electricity but very little rainfall. Dry air at the low levels means much of the rain evaporates before hitting the ground, allowing some channels of electricity to potentially ignite new wildfires without any water to extinguish the flames. Additional dry thunderstorms are possible in the days ahead, blossoming on the nose of monsoonal moisture working throughout the desert southwest. The same humid air mass is wafting north and bringing …
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