Wednesday’s storm only felt intense

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By Carol A. Clark

While Wednesday night’s thunderstorm felt intense, meteorologist Scot Johnson from Los Alamos National Laboratory said this morning that it really wasn’t anything too special.

“We did have a front come in that passed through from the north to the south and that always feels more impacting,” Johnson said this morning. “The wind blast was just under 40 mph, which is pretty normal although we haven’t had that for a while. The rain only totaled about one third of an inch.”

The lightning and wind from the storm did wreak havoc on television reception and knocked out power completely to North Community.

The outage occurred around 11 p.m. and linemen repaired the line failure by midnight.

“Rough weather is a challenge for all utility systems across the country,” said Rafael de la Torre, a deputy utilities manager with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, in a news release. “We have some preventative measures in place in the form of our reclosers on the system, which apparently attempted to resolve initial surges and dips, evidenced by the initial momentary outages. But the severity of the weather continued, leading to the line failure, which was rapidly located and repaired by our electric linemen.”

The power outage affected some 1,500 customers in North Community, according to the DPU.

Perhaps because of the major hailstorm that pummeled Los Alamos County July 6, Los Alamos emergency dispatchers received no reports of downed trees or other property damage Wednesday night.

“Despite the storm, we didn’t hear of any vehicle accidents or property damage,” Capt. Randy Foster said during an interview this morning.

Today’s weather forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Skies should be mostly cloudy, with a high near 80 degrees. Winds are expected out of the west at between 10 and 15 mph. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation.

Tonight’s weather forecast shows scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before midnight with winds from the south at around 5 mph. The low is expected to reach around 51 with again, a 30 percent chance of precipitation.