Thunderstorms expected throughout the week
Thunderstorms that have greeted the Truckee-Tahoe region last week should continue through the early part of this week, according to Brian O’Hara from the National Weather Service.
O’Hara said the Truckee region could see thunderstorms this afternoon or evening, but they should subside throughout the weekend. This week, however, thunderstorms may continue through Wednesday, he said.
“There is a monsoonal flow from the Southwest,” O’Hara said. This, along with the warm afternoon temperatures, creates the thunderstorms.
According to O’Hara, thunderstorms are typical in July, but they are nothing to be complacent about. “Lightning is a big problem this time of year,” he said. “If you see thunderstorms or hear thunder, it’s a good idea to take cover and wait for it to pass.”
Tina Rose, information officer for the California Department of Forestry, added it’s a good idea to stay off the phone and stay inside.
Another problem with the unexpected heavy rains during the dry summer season is the possibility of flash floods. O’Hara said in drier regions, especially Western Nevada, it’s a good idea to be aware of the possibility of flash floods in low areas.
Lightning in the area can cause fires. Clint Hamilton from the CDF said the department has received “about a dozen” calls about fires started from lightning recently, which he said is normal. Gene Welch from the Truckee fire department said his department has received a “typical” number of calls for lightning fires, including one small one that downed a tree in Tahoe Donner.
Most recently, lightning struck the ground near Donner Summit on Wednesday and grew to approximately 40 feet by 40 feet, he said. The fire was contained that evening.
According to the NWS, the CDF and the Truckee Fire Department, the best idea is to stay inside and wait out the storm.