Lightning shows have yet to cause area fires

July 27, 2017 GMT

Many nights this summer, lightning has lit up the North Platte skies without bringing rain.

While the lightning shows have yet to result in fires near North Platte, weather officials say that doesn’t mean they don’t accompany rain or fires.

Heavy thunderstorms often come with cloud-to-ground lightning, said Ed Townsend, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s North Platte office.

While the recent lightning shows appear to be alone, Townsend said, that’s not the case. Rather, the thunderstorm is either farther away or only contains a few scattered storms that barely touch the area. Townsend called these dry thunderstorms.

“If we’re seeing lightning, there’s a thunderstorm,” he said.

The thunderstorms accompanying recent lightning shows have been as far away as Brownlee in Cherry County and Long Pine in Brown County, Townsend said. He said fires have been reported in those counties.