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Over 7,000 lightning strikes recorded over Northeast B.C. on Sunday

Several lightning bolts seen over Fort St. John on Sunday evening. Photo by D Shawchek Photography.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Data collected by Environment Canada shows that a series of thunderstorms caused over 7,000 lightning strikes to be recorded over Northeast B.C. on Sunday.

Meteorologist Louis Kohanyi said that several massive thunderstorms began forming over the Rocky Mountains near Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope during the middle of the afternoon Sunday.

Kohanyi explained that Environment Canada issued the first severe thunderstorm warning at around 6:45 p.m. for a thunderstorm near Chetwynd that began moving in a southeasterly direction.

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Another warning was issued for a thunderstorm that formed over East Pine and moved into the Dawson Creek area shortly after 9:00 p.m.

A map of lightning strikes recorded over the B.C. Peace Region on Sunday. Photo by Environment Canada

In total, Kohanyi said that there were approximately 7,000 lightning strikes recorded over the B.C. Peace Region during the course of the storms, which lasted over six hours and finally moved over Alberta at around midnight.

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A lightning bolt strikes near Pouce Coupe on Sunday evening. Photo by Alistair McInnis

Dawson Creek bore the brunt of the storms, as 20.6 millimetres of rain was recorded at the Dawson Creek Regional Airport.

Of that, Kohanyi said 13.2 millimetres fell in just one hour, while wind gusts peaked at 65 kilometres per hour.

In contrast, the North Peace Airport weather station only recorded 2.4 mm of rain and wind gusts of 57 km/h.

A map of lightning strikes recorded over Western Canada. Photo by Environment Canada

Kohanyi said that an upper-level trough will be moving down from the Fort Nelson area throughout the day, meaning showers or thunderstorms are once again a possibility over Northeast B.C. today.

Kohanyi said however that daytime highs will only reach the low- to mid-20’s, meaning the Peace Region won’t see temperatures that were nearly as intense as those seen on Saturday and Sunday.

Fort St. John and Dawson Creek both broke alltime high temperature records for July 28th on Saturday.

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The 29.4 degrees recorded at the North Peace Airport was 0.5 degrees hotter than the previous record of 28.9 degrees, which dated back to 1982.

Dawson Creek meanwhile recorded a high of 29.8 degrees, which was 0.2 degrees higher than the last record, which also dated to 1982.

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