Monsoon storm, lightning barrage hit Tucson; SW side gets 2 inches of rain

2013-08-20T20:00:00Z 2013-08-20T21:42:05Z Monsoon storm, lightning barrage hit Tucson; SW side gets 2 inches of rainBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A thunderstorm swept through the Tucson area Tuesday afternoon, dropping up to 2 inches of rain on the city’s southwest side and on Mount Lemmon.

The summer storm also brought about 500 lightning strikes — from the cloud to the ground — from about 2 to 4 p.m., said Chris Rasmussen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

An apartment near East 29th Street and South Craycroft Road was struck by lightning, which also set a palm tree on fire on the property.

No one was injured , said Capt. Barrett Baker, a Tucson Fire Department spokesman.

There were scattered power outages throughout the metropolitan area, and Tucson Electric Power Co. crews worked into the late evening to restore power, said Joseph Barrios, a TEP spokesman.

The largest outage affected about 1,200 customers northwest of the city in the area of North Thornydale Road and West Linda Vista Boulevard, Barrios said.

The storm developed over Mount Lemmon and the Rincon Mountains with an outflow over the city, Rasmussen said.

“It was a monsoon-type storm, and it cooled off the area. Temperatures dropped from 103 to 77 degrees,” said Rasmussen.

The city’s southwest side between Ajo Way and Valencia Road, west of Interstate 10, received up to 2 inches of rain, and a flash- flood warning remained in effect for hours because of running washes, Rasmussen said.

The Pima County Fairgrounds near South Houghton Road and Interstate 10 received 1.22 inches of rain, according to flood control gauges.

Other portions of the city’s southeast side received up to 1 inch.

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