Sunday, Monday storms bring rain, lateral lightning

Roosevelt County Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenberger said Sunday night's thunderstorms were pretty intense for June weather.

"It was raining so hard that you couldn't see a car-length in front of you," said Wattenberger about his drive around the county when he was checking for damages. "Usually we get (thunderstorms) earlier, but we're getting them kind of late this year. It's been a little bit of wait."

Wattenberger said no damages were reported in Sunday and Monday's storms, which produced anywhere from half an inch to 2 inches of rainfall, according to an Accuweather meteorologist. But he said the area was still at risk for fire from the lightning of the storms.

"No damages, just a lot of rain from about half an inch to an inch and-a-half," Wattenberger said. "We spotted for a couple of hours, saw some lateral (lightning) strikes."

Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Mike Pigott said the four-hour thunderstorm was caused by a storm system moving through the Rockies.

Pigott agreed with Wattenberger that dry hot weather tends to dominate most of June so the storms were a bit unexpected.

"You do see some more thunderstorm activity earlier in the spring," Pigott said. "This was a little bit unusual."

Pigott said today's high temperature will be 98 degrees and then temperatures will continue to decline the rest of the week until the weekend.

"You'll get relief Wednesday with a high of 89, and then a thunderstorm (Thursday) with a high of 81," Pigott said. "Friday, the cold front will stick around creating the possibility for a couple of showers and another thunderstorm."

He added that Friday's potential thunderstorm would be the one to watch for as it has more risk of causing severe weather.

Floyd rancher Danny Griffith said he'd just be happy to see any precipitation at all later this week because he felt he was cheated from Sunday's thunderstorms.

"We got 0.23 inches," said Griffith about what his rain gage measured. "We got just high wind, sand and lightning but that was pretty much all of it. Normally in June when it rains like that, we start to get 2 to 3 inches of rain. We're hoping for it."

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