Weather

Thunderstorms bring rain, flooding advisories to Western Washington

Tim Parrish and his girlfriend, Gloria Mercado of Tacoma, shield their ears from the thunder and lightning striking nearby during a rain shower while waiting for the downtown Tacoma Library to open Wednesday. The couple were taking shelter under a big evergreen near the entrance.
Tim Parrish and his girlfriend, Gloria Mercado of Tacoma, shield their ears from the thunder and lightning striking nearby during a rain shower while waiting for the downtown Tacoma Library to open Wednesday. The couple were taking shelter under a big evergreen near the entrance. Staff photographer

Thunderstorms rolled through Western Washington on Friday, bringing rain, hail, lightning and cooler weather to a region parched by months of above-average heat and lack of precipitation.

It was just a respite. Sunny, warmer weather is predicted to return to the region as early as Saturday (Aug. 15), forecasters said.

On Friday, up to 2 inches of rain fell in some areas, and dime-size hail was reported in neighborhoods raked by thunderstorms, the National Weather Service reported.

The Weather Service issued a flash-flood advisory for Pierce, Thurston and King counties, among others, as thunderstorms dropped heavy rain in some areas.

No significant flooding was recorded, but television stations reported street flooding in Seattle as the storms swept through King County in the early afternoon.

A lightning bolt reportedly hit CenturyLink Field just hours before the Seattle Seahawks’ opening preseason game.

Heavy rains also contributed to traffic jams on Interstate 5, which saw heavy congestion between Federal Way and Olympia for much of the afternoon.

Lightning from recent storms is believed to have started at least two fires across the state, including a 5-acre brush fire at Swan Creek Park near Tacoma. The blaze was fully contained early Friday.

Showers should end by Saturday and temperatures will rise into the high 70s. Sunday is expected to be the warmest day of the weekend with a high of 79, according to the Weather Service.

There’s a small chance rain could return Monday, but the forecast for next week calls for sunny skies with highs in the 80s by next weekend.

Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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