Thunderstorms are unusual in Unalakleet; however, a thunderstorm cell persisted in the area for longer than usual. Hot, dry conditions across Alaska have increased the risk of wildland fire, including that started from lightening strike.
Having a thunderstorm within the community is unusual, let alone having it occur repeatedly within a short amount of time. This coincides with a post of seeing more cumulus activity. Today, I heard from a coworker there were at least three thunderstorm events within the hour, where one was extremely louder than the other two.
Rick Thoman, Climatologist with the Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, writes:
On July 15, the lightning detection network operated by the Alaska Fire Service recorded about 75 lightning strikes in the Nulato Hills, including several within a few miles Unalakleet. Winds aloft were very weak allowing the thunderstorm cell to persist in the same area for longer than is typical.