Over 200 lightning strikes blast B.C.'s South Coast overnight

·2 min read
Environment Canada says 232 lightning strikes hit the South Coast in a 12-hour period between Monday and Tuesday. (Justin McElroy/CBC - image credit)
Environment Canada says 232 lightning strikes hit the South Coast in a 12-hour period between Monday and Tuesday. (Justin McElroy/CBC - image credit)

Storms occasionally hit the South Coast of B.C. in springtime, but rarely do we get a loud display of thunder and lightning like the system that quickly moved through the region on Monday evening into Tuesday.

Environment Canada says 232 lightning strikes hit the South Coast in a 12-hour period from 5 p.m. PT Monday.

A total of 61 were measured across Metro Vancouver, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, with the most rapid-fire spell happening between midnight and 1:30 a.m.

"We don't get this kind of convective line very often here in Vancouver, and even less so in May. So, pretty exciting," said Wagstaffe, who said the storm was caused by a cold front colliding with a mass of muggy air.

"It was pretty impressive," said Environment Canada meteorologist Nan Lu. "This line moved across the area pretty quickly."

The storm was the talk of local social media overnight, with many people posting striking pictures and videos of lightning bolts across the region.

"Woke me out of a dead sleep. Wild," tweeted @BrentDargis.

"The thunder was so powerful it shook the window frames," wrote @kerriatid.

"I've never seen or heard thunder and lightning like this before" tweeted @AnthonyMAbbo

"Yesterday it was too hot. Tonight it's freezing cold. Gotta love Vancouver," wrote @Scenic_Route.

Several people said they hadn't seen a display like Mother Nature unleashed last night since they moved to Vancouver, and missed the familiarity of thunder and lightning storms.

"I miss falling asleep to the sound of thunder," said @TheBookWormette.

@DukeDALang said his Prairie friends often scoff at Vancouver's "soft" weather, but last night he ventured outside and happily got soaked.

"Tonight was like a homecoming!" he wrote.

But for some. the storm didn't hit as hard as some would have liked. @GhostTiffany wanted Langley to get the kind of wallop Vancouver was experiencing.

"Gimme the lightning and thunder, you coward weather!" she wrote.

Environment Canada says the unstable air mass behind the cold front will be present throughout Tuesday, bringing mostly cloudy conditions and 60 per cent chance of showers with a slight risk of more thunderstorms.