Thunderstorms bring more than 5,500 lightning strikes, heavy rain, hail and gusty winds

Chief Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Wednesday weather update
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:04 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Active thunderstorms fired up across the Interior and Mat-Su Wednesday afternoon, causing difficult travel conditions on the Glenn and Parks Highways.

As of 7:45 p.m., more than 5,500 lightning strikes were detected in the state and these storms are still very active, especially across the Interior. Communities from Fairbanks to McGrath should be prepared for lightning, heavy rain, hail, and gusty winds through the evening. These storms come after high temperatures reached the 80s for the third day in a row across the Interior.

The increase in lighting activity prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning tonight for the central Interior and the Lower Koyukuk and Middle Yukon Valleys where fire danger remains high.

More than 4,800 lightning strikes and climbing across Alaska today with storms also bringing in heavy rain, gusty winds,...

Posted by Melissa Frey on Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Further south, the thunderstorms that fired up across the Talkeetna mountains, moving south and east into the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys are beginning to taper off. This area will continue to see rain through the night.

Clearing conditions are likely for Southcentral Thursday with high temperatures returning to the low to mid-60s. More sunshine and warmer temperatures are likely Friday and Saturday.

A storm will move into Southcentral from the southwest Sunday, but right now this storm looks to stay mostly south of Anchorage, but will likely bring heavy rain to the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound.

Remember when the thunder roars, go indoors.

-Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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