Storm electrifies Auburn

Cloudy skis, chance of rain forecasted for the weekend
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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Lightning struck more than once in Auburn Wednesday night. In fact, it struck 148 times in just the Tahoe National Forest, according to spokeswoman Mary Furney. “It’s a little bit different,” Furney said about a lightning and thunderstorm in early June. “We’re not quite used to this.” The thunder and lightning came with four-tenths of an inch of rain recorded over night at the Auburn Post Office, according to Karl Swanberg, forecaster for the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office. “It’s very unusual,” Swanberg said of the weather for this time of year. “It’s been an unsettled pattern for over a week now.” Swanberg said a low-pressure system coming off the California coast is responsible for Wednesday night’s widespread shower and thunderstorm activity over much of the state. He expected the stormy weather to continue through Thursday night and then a chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms through Saturday. Swanberg added that the Auburn area should expect a slight chance of showers Saturday and Sunday along with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. Wednesday night’s storm caused one minor fire as a result of a lightning strike. Furney said a 10-foot by 10-foot fire about 15 miles east of Sierraville was extinguished and in the mop up stage by Thursday afternoon. She said forest crews have a plan to combat dry lightning during the summer. She said there is not as high a concern with recent storms because they have been wet. “Of course we’re still definitely alert,” Furney said. The wet weather did mean some last-minute changes for E.V. Cain’s Thursday evening graduation ceremony. Teacher Kelly Bennett said staff made the decision to move the event indoors Thursday morning after hearing the forecast of unpredictable weather. She said the school doesn’t usually expect the stormy weather around graduation. “I can’t remember the last time the weather was effecting it in this way,” Bennett said. However, the weather didn’t put a damper on the last day, Bennett said. “Everybody is pretty excited that it’s the last day and we can’t tell whether they’re crazy because of the change of venue or the last day of school — just the usual fare,” Bennett said. “Everybody seems to have a big smile on their face today.” The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment.