NWS: Thunderstorms would be ‘severe' anywhere in the country

Glenn Farley explains the force behind Thursday's storm.

It wasn't your imagination – Thursday's lines of thunderstorms over Western Washington was a big deal.  

"These storms were strong, not just by Western Washington standards," said Logan Johnson, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Seattle. "These would be severe storms anywhere in the country."  

The area saw intense rain and about 2,500 lighting strikes.    

Most of the damage was in Thurston County, concentrated around the Olympia Airport. It wasn't a tornado that did the damage, says Johnson, but what he called a wet microburst. Johnson says in this case, the microburst is a rapid plunge of a large quantity of rain straight down, driving air out in all directions as it hits the ground.  

"In this case, probably 70 plus miles per hour," said Johnson. 

Johnson, who's career has posted him in stormy states including Kansas and Indiana, says this was, "more reminiscent of a storm you'd see in a severe weather outbreak in the Midwest or the Southeast."  

On the west side of Washington state, these storms only come years apart, according to Johnson.

© 2017 KING-TV


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