Storms bring vivid end to heat wave

Storms bring vivid end to heat wave »Play Video
Photo and caption By Reid Wolcott: "Marine push that arrived at 8:10pm at the north tip of Lake Washington. Winds were gusting over 50 kts and it was very challenging to even stand, let alone hold a camera on a tripod! A meteorologists/photographers dream!"
SEATTLE -- It's the heat wave that wouldn't go down without a fight.

Coming off 90 degree heat, thunderstorms raged across Portland's Willamette Valley Thursday afternoon, while a surge of marine air barreled into the Puget Sound region, bringing winds as strong as 45-50 mph and knocking out power to at least 50,000 region-wide. It also made for some incredible temperature drops in a short time.

The stormy weather began in northern Oregon where a line of severe thunderstorms moved from the southern Willamette Valley toward the Portland area in the afternoon, flooding streets and knocking down trees and power lines. Tornado warnings were issued during the day and there were unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds in the mid-valley.

As many as 35,000 people lost power across the Willamette Valley. See videos and photos from the storm here. Another 15,000 lost power in Western Washington.

As the thunderstorms moved off to the west along the Columbia River, a surge of marine air pushed north and east from the Washington Coast and raced into the Puget Sound region.

It brought immediate relief to the region that had been baking for three days. Seattle hit 90 on Thursday, the second day in a row it broke its record high and third day in a row over 85 degrees.

Here are some of the "play-by-plays" of the weather this evening:

In Shelton, the marine air rolled by just before 7 p.m. on the tails of a 35-40 mph wind. The temperature plummeted from 88 degrees at 6 p.m. to 79 degrees at 7 p.m. and 63 at 8 p.m.

It hit Yelm around 7:30 with a gust of 54 mph.

A short time later, it rolled through Olympia with a 43 mph gust dropping the temperature from 85 at 7 p.m. to 72 at 8 p.m., and 66 by 9 p.m.

It hit Sea-Tac Airport just before 9 p.m. with the wind gusting to 36 mph blowing dust as well. The temperature went from 86 at 7:53 p.m. to 72 at 8:45 p.m.

University of Washington building at 8:53 p.m. -- 83 degrees. At 9:14 p.m.? 68 degrees.

Speaking of rapidly dropping, how would you like to dress in Forks today? They were at 90 degrees at noon, and by 7:38 p.m. it was 59 degrees. At 8:15 p.m. it blew through Port Angeles as I was on the phone with my Dad. At the start of the call, his home weather station was at 83. Ten minutes later, it was 68 and still dropping.

In fact, as a general rule, temperatures were near 90 across much of the region at around 6 p.m., and by 11 p.m., most of the region was in the low-mid 60s.

In all, Puget Sound Energy estimated between 10,000 and 12,000 of their customers lost power, while Seattle City Light said 5,800 were in the dark, including 2,900 in West Seattle. Other Seattle outages were in the Olympic View (1,900) and Rainier Beach (1,000) neighborhoods.

There was still a chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm through the early morning hours, but they should be gone by daybreak. What will be left is a Friday that will be much cooler with highs in the 60s to mid 70s and some areas of morning clouds.