Summer storm brings 3,499 lightning strikes across the Inland Northwest

Summer storm brings 3,499 lightning strikes across the Inland Northwest
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Photo courtesy Tricia McCall. Taken from Colbert, WA.

Lightning lit up skies across the Inland Northwest Tuesday night.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 3,499 lightning strikes hit the ground across the region during the summer storm. There were also 28,630 cloud flashes, which is lightning that does not strike the ground.

To track the lightning, the NWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN), a global lightning detection system which uses sensors to monitor and map lightning activity in real time. Read more about ENTLN here.

A map produced by the ENTLN of Tuesday night’s Cloud to Ground lightning strikes is below:

Summer storm brings 3,499 lightning strikes across the Inland Northwest

The storm also brought loud thunder, rain showers and strong winds with it. The Spokane area saw the strongest wind gusts. The NWS reported a peak gust of 61 mph at the Spokane International Airport. Moses Lake and Oroville also saw strong winds, with peak gusts of 51 mph.

Winds were lighter in North Idaho but still gusted to 43 mph in the Coeur d’Alene area and 41 in Lewiston.

The strong winds and numerous lightning strikes led to power outages across the region. Thousands were in the dark Tuesday night. Local power companies had crews out overnight working to restore power.

By Wednesday morning, crews had made substantial progress but still about 4,000 Avista customers were left without power. Check the latest outage map HERE.