FERNDALE, Wash. — A weather system that brought thunder and lightning along with hail and heavy rains earlier this evening to the Pierce and King County region is heading northward into the Whatcom County area. Forecasters from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service (NWS) say small hail and brief heavy rain can be expected as the system moves through.
Earlier this evening, NWS reported a thunderstorm over the Cascades and by 5:20pm, thunderstorms could be seen on radar forming along the west slopes of the northern Cascades and moving north.
By 7pm, thunderstorms were forming as far south as the Puyallup area. NWS officials issued a short-term forecast notice saying “Thunderstorms with small hail over Pierce county are moving north at about 30 mph and will be in the Seattle metro area between 8:15 and 9:15 pm.” The California vs University of Washington football game was halted at 7:50pm due to an “extreme weather advisory.”
Weather stations in the south Puget Sound area have reported rainfall rates up to a third of an inch an hour and numerous lightning strikes as the system moved through.
A short-term forecast notice was issued for western Whatcom County about 8:50pm that said, “Thunderstorms in King and Snohomish county will move into Skagit, Whatcom and Island county in the next couple of hours. small hail and brief heavy rain can be expected with these storms which are moving north at about 30 mph.”
As of 9:15pm, NWS officials estimated the number of lightning strikes in western Washington over the prior 3.5 hours to be 1,250.