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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Another thunderstorm [ Tuesday, 09 Oct 07 | 14:59 ]
[Tags|, ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |shockedshocked]

I have mentioned before that we more often have local thunderstorms rather than widespread rain. And yesterday evening was no exception. The day started sunny, but clouds grew during the afternoon. A little before 6 pm I noticed that some rain was falling over parts of Barcelona and moving in my direction. So I kept my eye on the XRAD for Catalunya.

The rain kept getting closer, the flashes of lightning brighter, and the thunder louder. And then the thunderstorm was directly overhead. You can see by the XRAD that the immediate coastal area was besieged by rain.

XRAD image of Catalunya
I live on the coast, about half-way between Barcelona and Mataró.

It rained hard for about a half of an hour. I let a passerby wait inside the building to avoid getting drenched in the downpour. My street was living up to its name: Torrent Umbert. Some of the lightning was so close that there was no delay between the flash and the sound.

After the rain had tapered off, I went out to check the Alella River, about 250 m from my home. And this is what I encountered:

Rio Alella
Normally a dry channel.

By this time the clouds were heading out to sea and a little late afternoon sun appeared. So I snapped a picture of a rainbow that appeared. You can even see a faint double-rainbow.

Storm over
Rainbow over the marina.
Taken along the Alella River about 300 m from where I live.

Back home I found that the elevator wasn’t working. Probably due to one af the nearby lightning strikes. So I walked to the administrator’s office about 100 m down the street to report the outage.

I noticed that a short distance away from the office there were several police milling about on the sidewalk. Intrigued, I walked closer and found that there were bricks and building rubble scattered on the sidewalk and street. I could see that a chimney on the building had been hit by lightning and it was damaged, like a small bomb had exploded.

This is the first time that I have seen damage caused by lightning so close by. Seeing the effects, I am going to be a little more cautious the next time we have a violent thunderstorm and disconnect more electronics.