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Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 PM
 
Location: HERE
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Late last night, I was outside from 11PM to about 3AM watching flashes of lightning and listening to rumbles of thunder. Odd thing was not a single drop of rain fall at all- where I was at. Some nearby places got some very light sprinkles. Never experienced a dry thunderstorm before. How rare are they? Are they common in places that get regular thunderstorms. I loved the light and sound show but I was disappointed that it didn't rain. http://sfbay.ca/2013/08/19/lightning...s-in-bay-area/

I thought thunder only happens when it's raining...or at least preceding at least a little bit of rain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AzTvU8u_Co

I also discovered ppl here cannot spell lightning- they text or type "lightening" is that problem unique to places that rarely get thunderstorms? Since we so little of it, we can't spell it.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Out west there are plenty of dry thunderstorms. That coupled with a strong wind is a recipe for forest fires and grass fires.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:39 PM
 
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I've seen it very often in the desert, especially from late spring through summer and early fall.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:18 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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When I was in the Rockies it felt like there was less rain for the amount of thunder than we'd get home. Here, anytime there's lightning, it's with heavy rain, though sometimes only for a short time.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Miami,FL
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nope that never happens here. here we can get the opposite, we get the downpour without the lightning^^.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
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I've seen it in Eastern Washington.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:39 AM
 
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
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We've had about three this year, with the first one having very dark skies, strong winds and very loud thunder, but not even a little rain.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:02 AM
 
Location: Finland
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If the temperatures aren't 'right' and the level of moisture in the clouds are not sufficient, the thunder can be dry. We've had one weak and local t-storm this year with no rain falling. Perhaps it rained in the immediate vicinity, but wasn't large and wet enough to spread precipitation over any larger areas.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdriannaSmiling View Post
Late last night, I was outside from 11PM to about 3AM watching flashes of lightning and listening to rumbles of thunder. .
Did you happen to look at the radar at the time? I can pull up the files and get the radar frames for you but have to wait until tomorrow.

We all know lightning and thunder can be heard from 15 miles away and we all know even if a storm cloud is right overhead it can be raining few streets over and not over you. So it's not uncommon at all to see lightning hear thunder with no rain.

A thunderstorm is a thunderstorm, usually don't say wet or dry T-Storm, just have to figure out where it is.. I think 99% of the time there is rain associated with it but not everyone will get it; and many outside the storm will get just the lightning. I've experienced this before and it was so awesome.

Couple of tweets from last night: Sounds like it was off to the west then dropped south.

"Just turned on the San Francisco radar to ingest into our system. The t-storms off the coast tonight are amazing!"

"High winds & huge line of thunderstorms heading forSan Francisco, most will hit south of city?"

Lightning visible from the Bay area with t-storms southwest of San Francisco. Radar:



Epic Lightning Storm Strikes San Fran



TWC has article and save animation of radar. The rain stayed off shore.

"As you can see in the radar recap below, most of the accumulating rain remained offshore"

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Buxton UK
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Living in a place with so few thunder storms you're probably just not that familiar with the nature of them. As others said the rainfall can cover a very localised area while thunder and lighting is observed miles away from the actual rainfall. I've seen lightning/thunder close by here when the actual heavy rain was over Manchester some 16-20 miles away. And in summer it isn't uncommon to hear thunder rumbling away from a cloud that seems some way off.
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