May 2, 1998

Two thunderstorms hit the Turlock area Saturday afternoon/evening....

The first t'storm began as a vigorous rain shower at 1620, accompanied by 21 mph winds. Rain fell so heavy, the visibility dropped to 1/4 mi. In just three minutes (1623-1626), I recorded .13 of an inch of rain. I only heard one clap of thunder with this cell before it moved north. The cell was a fairly fast mover, so street flooding problems were not too bad. The second storm produced a lot more thunder than the first (from 1930-2000), but the brunt of these cells just missed Turlock to the east - moving north along a line stretching from our north to our southeast.

Further north, things were a little more interesting. Sacramento TV stations showed footage Saturday evening of storm damage southeast of Sacramento. Sheet metal was torn off the roof of a barn and a fence was blown over by winds probably as high as 80 mph. The NWS in Sacramento has not confirmed if this was a microburst or a tornado. If this event is confirmed as a tornado, it would be the second tornado to touch down in Sacramento County in less than two weeks. The "possible tornado damage" in Sacramento I wrote about back on Apr 23 was classified as a tornado by the NWS in Sacramento the next day.

The rest of the week looks quite interesting. The upper level low responsible for the rain is pretty much staying put offshore, and it looks like it's trying to tap into some subtropical moisture. Could be a pretty wet week.