Weather calms after Mother Nature's firework show

Weather calms after Mother Nature's firework show
SEATTLE -- I guess if Oklahoma is going to take Seattle's basketball team, it only figures we take some of their weather in return...

A series of strong to severe thunderstorms rolled through the Puget Sound region Wednesday night and Thursday morning, bringing large hail, gusty winds, frequent lightning and heavy rain.

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are very rare in Western Washington, but there were several issued through the evening and overnight hours, with southeastern King County hit particularly hard. Fresh warnings were issued for the Eastside metro area late Thursday morning as another severe cell with large hail was moving up the I-405 corridor. Learn more about severe thunderstorm warnings in our weather blog

Overall, Ted Buehner with the National Weather Service says they measured 2,500 lightning strikes across the region through 5 a.m. -- so not counting all the late morning fireworks -- and that was the most since August 3, 1999.

Heavy rains sent a mudflow oozing through a new housing development in Newcastle as crews scrambled to keep the muck from flowing into homes.

Video footage from KOMO News' helicopter Air 4 shows about two inches of mud and water flowing through streets in the development, on 169th Avenue SE, which is still under construction.

Enumclaw reported power outages and hail as large as a nickel in size Wednesday night. Several other Cascade foothill communities reported dime to nickel size hail.

These thunderstorms continued through the night and spread out into the Puget Sound lowlands as the night and morning progressed.

We had a very strong, southerly flow that is tapped into some moist, unstable air. Wednesday's 80 degree heat touched off the thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening in the mountains.

Then, a large area of low pressure just off the coast drifted close enough to spin bands of moisture our way, and when those showers entered this large swath of warm, unstable air, they intensified into much heavier showers and thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms tapered off Thursday afternoon and were not expected to be a factor for the rest of the weekend.