Lightning show

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lightning strikes as seen from the Troy Sportsplex on Monday. Monday’s storms brought several thousand strikes per hour across much of Alabama.

Written by Tyler Spivey

Thousands of lightning strikes light up the Alabama sky

If you were almost anywhere in the state of Alabama Monday night, you probably noticed the extreme weather and Pike County experienced a fair share of it.

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The rainfall Monday was overwhelmed by the addition of severe, almost consecutive, lightning strikes.

Michael Garrison, a meteorologist with the Birmingham branch of the National Weather Service, reported that the city of Troy got between two and two and a half inches of rain Monday evening.

Areas further south of Troy area saw a greater amount of rainfall. Garrison said that some areas of Pike County saw more than nine inches of rain.

“When you get that much rain in that short amount of time, it’s usually not a good thing,” said Garrison.

He said that heavy rain in short time intervals causes the soil to “run off.”

Contrary to this report, Garrison said that the rain on Tuesday morning was more moderate and steady, and therefore, something positive for the state which has been suffering from a drought in the past few months.

Another weather issue that the meteorologist addressed was the unusual amount of lightning strikes on Monday.

Garrison referred to the event as a “lightning show.”

He was unable to speak on the exact number of lightning strikes that occurred, but he did say that there were several thousand strikes within a period of an hour across much of Alabama.

At the Troy SportsPlex, weather got so rough Monday night it delayed the Dixie Angels X-Play World Series. Teams were still on hold as of Tuesday afternoon.

“The lightning was extremely bad,” said Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation. “We’ve never had a delay like that. It was a very unusual thunderstorm.”

Garrison advised Alabamians to be cautious when lightning flashes. According to him, lighting strikes are just as deadly as any other form of hazardous weather.

Garrison recommended staying away from windows and electrical appliances. He also said to avoid driving on roadways if a large amount of water is present, the reason being that many motorists misjudge the deepness of water while traveling.

Despite the rain and storms early in the week, those who are hoping for calmer weather are in luck, according to Garrison.

“After today, it will be a little bit dryer,” he said Tuesday.

The Pike County Emergency Management Agency said that no storm damage was reported from Monday night’s weather and the Pike County Road Department noted there were a only a few scattered cases of fallen trees from the storm.