Dylan Silver

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July 26, 2013
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South Shore to see more lightning, thunderstorms

Lake Tahoe is in for more loud claps of thunder and sudden bursts of lightning as storms are expected over the area through today.

“We’ve just got the right conditions in place,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dawn Johnson said. “For thunderstorms to form, we just need moisture, instability and a source of lift.”

Forecasts are calling for thunderstorms through Saturday and into Sunday. The National Weather Service is warning the public to look out for dangers the storms can cause.

“The dangers with storms are going to be lightning, heavy rain, hail and gusty winds,” Johnson said.

With the ground already saturated, any rain that falls will turn into runoff, Johnson said. With more storms on the way, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for much of the region Friday.

“Basically, you want to make sure you stay away from any steep canyons and you stay away from rivers, creeks or streams,” Johnson said.

The Thursday thunderstorm knocked out power to more than 2,000 customers in South Lake Tahoe. Lightning strikes, which were reported throughout town, hit circuits in Meyers as well as in the Harrison Avenue area.

“We lost one of our circuits in Meyers, which was about 2000 customers,” Liberty Energy spokesman Randy Kelly said in a message. “What ended up happening was a lightning strike on a pole with a transformer.”

The company isolated the transformers and was able to return power within hours, Kelly said.

The lightning Thursday and Friday also sparked four small fires on the west side of the lake, said Forest Service spokeswoman Cheva Heck.

“All are small and lack potential to spread. Our crews are responding,” heck said Friday via email.

Though the Forest Service is on high alert for more fires, the rain has put a damper on the danger, Heck said.

“The good news is that the lightning has mostly been accompanied by significant precipitation,” she said. “We’d be much more concerned about dry lightning.”

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 26, 2013 07:33PM Published Jul 26, 2013 06:40PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.