Monday, August 11, 2104, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Fire Warning for many areas of Washington State, including the Cascade Foothills, as an upper level low pressure system approached Washington. The low drew moisture into Western Washington, destabilized the atmosphere and triggered thunderstorms and lightning starting Monday night.
Just as predicted, the first of the storm cells rolled through the Cascade Foothills starting around 8:30PM, August 11th. Loud, booming thunder echoed through the Snoqualmie Valley from North Bend to Carnation. Power was knocked out to about 5,000 PSE customers in the Woodinville area when lightning hit a power pole. A couple of photos of the lightning were captured on Snoqualmie Ridge.
For Tuesday, August 12th, storm cells were expected to fire back up as the day heats up, following a fairly calm morning around Western Washington. High temperatures are expected to make to the low 80’s. Due to the recent dry weather stretch in Western Washington, any lightning strikes could cause multiple fire starts due to dry fuel (brush and timber) conditions.
The National Weather Service warns that any triggered fires could spread rapidly. The Red Flag Warning expires at 5PM, August 12th.
KOMO News Weather Producer Scott Sistek has a great article explaining the possible crazy weather and wildfire threat in more detail HERE.
Hazy skies along the Cascades Monday
On Monday, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency also lowered air quality for the Foothills (Snoqualmie Valley) from ‘Moderate’ to ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ as multiple wildfires burn just east of the Cascades and dry, hot stagnate air lingers over the Cascade Foothills, increasing smog levels. Air quality improved on Tuesday when winds changed, temperatures lowered and rain moved in. ‘
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ means those with lung conditions such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors, but the general public is not likely to be affected.
Temperatures are expected to cool from the 90’s into the 80’s in the Snoqualmie Valley on Tuesday, August 12th, with a mix of clouds and thunderstorms. Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.