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Late Season Thunderstorms In Northern/Central California (May 15, 2011)

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Published on May 16, 2011

Watch in high quality (480p).

Northern and Central California will endure unseasonably cool weather Saturday and Sunday (May 14-15, 2011). Temps only reached only in 50's-60's. That's way below this month's average temps. Thunderstorms are also entirely possible, due to this late season cold front's instability. The storm system affected most of the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern CA on this weekend. The precipitation of the cold front was convective, increasing the chance for scattered t-storms for the Bay Area, and especially in the Central Valleys and Northern CA.

In this video, it first shows that rain showers were already developing in San Jose, CA in the morning/noon time hours due to the instability in the atmosphere as the cold front/storm system moves overhead.

Then at 1:55 in the video, it shows me travel to the California Central Valley, particularly Tracy, CA to see the developing numerous thunderstorms. I departed from San Jose, CA around 1:30 p.m. Small hail was also encountered along with moderate rainfall along I-580 heading eastward while on Altamont Pass, CA.

Then later, at about 4:50 in the video, it shows my arrival in Tracy, CA, roughly an hour later. A beautiful thunderhead cloud was spotted west back towards Altamont Pass.

Then coming 3:30 p.m., a potent thunderstorm has drifted right by the region. This cell actually did produce lightning. Unluckily, I was still setting up my camera when it struck. I did quickly get the thunder from that strike at about 7:28 in the video. You can hear the thunder. This had awesome precipitation/rain shafts. I put a bit of time lapse of the storm as it slowly rolls in. Gusty winds were also experienced at the storm passed through. Later, at 9:08 in the video, it shows the strong rains and downpours from this particular cell. The storm continued to drift northeast away from the area at about 25 mph.

The remainder of the video shows numerous showers still developing as the day draws to a close over the Central Valley/Tracy, CA.

I started to head back home at around 8pm. A brief rain shower was encountered again while on I-580 heading west on the Altamont Pass. A wonderful moon light was then visible back in the Bay Area, signalling break in the storms. It also signals a successful day of storm chasing once again.

Hope you guys will enjoy the video! Happy storm chasing!

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