Brilliant thunderstorm punctuates end to 4-day heat wave in Puget Sound region

Photo: Rhonda Burns

SEATTLE -- How can Mother Nature top off an unprecedented 4 days in a row above 80 in Seattle?

With some fireworks for the finale, of course!

A potent thunderstorm formed off the southern Cascades Wednesday evening and put on a dazzling light show that could be seen across much of King and Pierce County as the storm drifted slowly northwest toward Tacoma.

Social media lit up (pardon the pun) with photos and videos of storms as locals peer at a rare display of frequent lightning.

Radar indicated the storm carried some small hail and heavy rains along for the ride.

The storms came up high as the "natural air conditioning" came in the form of a refreshing ocean breeze that signaled the end of the heat wave that rewrote several entries in the local weather books. Never before had there been 3 days above 80 in April in Seattle, much less four in a row. Seattle set a new daily record high each of the past four days and set its all time hottest April day at 89 degrees on Monday.

But the wind caused rapid cooling -- Shelton dropped from 80 from 56 in 4 hours Wednesday evening. Seattle dropped 17 degrees in 3 hours as the wind arrived.

What it all will lead to, ironically, is a decidedly more Seattle-esque April day Thursday, with a marine overcast through midday and temperatures in the 60s.

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