According to the National Weather Service Western Colorado and Eastern Utah saw over 6,500 lightning strikes in an 18 hour period.
Of the 6,500 lightning strikes, 585 strikes were in Mesa, Delta, and Montrose County. The National Weather Service says during thunderstorms they pay closer attention to lightning monitoring equipment. Jim Pringle with the National Weather Service says, "Often times if there is an intense thunderstorm moving into the area we will focus strictly on the lightning data and we will monitor that minute by minute.
Pringle says lightning can tell Meteorologists a lot about storms. Pringle says, "Lightning data is an extremely important tool that tells us a lot about the characteristics and intensity of a particular thunderstorm."
But meteorologists with the National Weather Service are not the only ones monitoring the lightning. Xcel Energy watches for power outages from lightning. Fred Eggleston with Xcel says, "[Lightning] can affect the electrical system because it puts a surge in from the ground itself. This voltage surge caused by that lightning strike is what will damage the equipment."
Eggleston says there only minimal concern of a lighting strike causing a blackout to the entire city. Eggleston says, "We have built the grid itself to absorb lightning." Eggleston suggests to protect your home use surge protectors and also unplug appliances that are surge sensitive.
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