1,894 Lightning Strikes Recorded in Northern California on Saturday

Photo by Felix Mittermeier

A series of thunderstorms blanketed Northern California over the weekend, peaking on Saturday with a recorded 1,894 lightning strikes. Many of the strikes (929) were seen in National Forests which led to dozens of small wildfires popping up throughout the dense wilderness.

For a 24-hour period beginning on Saturday morning, strikes were lighting up the air, with the majority of clusters taking place in the Mendocino, Lassen and Plumas national forests. Following the storm, small wildfires were reported in Lassen, Shasta-Trinity and Klamath national forests, keeping smokejumpers busy as they entered the dense wilderness via parachute to contain each blaze. With their hard work, each fire stayed under 3 acres.

Areas surrounding Lake Tahoe and the Eastern Sierra also saw their share of lightning activity, but no fires were reported in the area. Video shows lightning strikes over Lake Tahoe:

In August 2020, a 2-day lightning storm brought 12,000 lightning strikes to California, starting many of the massive wildfires that would contribute to the state’s historic fire season. With drought conditions creating a dangerous wildfire situation throughout Northern California this summer, residents hope these lightning strikes won’t continue to occur later this year.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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