Rainy day

Traffic moves along in the rain at Duval Mine Road and Abrego Drive. Green Valley and Sahuarita had 1 to 1.5 inches of rainfall between Tuesday and Thursday morning after two storms made for a rainy week. 

A Green Valley Recreation employee who was nearly struck by lightning  Thursday morning has been released from the hospital.

GVR spokesman Miles Waterbury said a staff member was working at the GVR Abrego South Center when lightning struck the ground nearby, causing the employee to feel "discomfort" and call 911.

The employee was taken to Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital, but released later that day, Waterbury said.

"They are now home recovering, and unavailable for comment," he said.

Green Valley Fire District spokesman L.T. Pratt said reports of people struck by lightning in the area are rare. However, last December lightning struck a home at the peak above a garage, traveled down and came up through the ground 20 feet away and into a 42-year-old man's foot in Madera Highlands. He was taken to Banner University Medical Center with bruising from his right foot to his abdomen, Pratt said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Cerniglia was unaware of Thursday's incident. 

"Lightning doesn't necessarily have to hit you spot on to electrocute you; it can be even 10-15 feet away," he said. "You get a side charge out of it. The ground charge or side discharge, like a side spark from the main channel, can get you."

The Weather Service reported lightning can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and it strikes the United States about 25 million times per year.


The Weather Service recorded 0.71 inches to 1.73 inches of rain for the Green Valley and Sahuarita area from Tuesday through Thursday night.

"November is one of our drier months as we first start transitioning into more wintertime weather," he said. "It is a little unusual to see this much rain in November. We've seen some daily rainfall records broken across the region," meteorologist Glenn Lader said.

Tuesday's showers were the product of remnant moisture from a tropical storm and another broad system off of the Baja Peninsula.

A separate system that was stronger was responsible for the rain on Wednesday and Thursday. The second system came from the northwest off of the Pacific Coast and moved southeast across the state.

While the immediate forecast is calling for dry weather, Lader said there is activity building up in the second half of next week.

"That's going to be a concern because of travel for the Thanksgiving holiday," he said. 

Lader said the latest three-month outlook released Thursday morning showed this winter might have below-normal precipitation.

"But it's just barely there," Lader said. "We're right on the edge between that and equal chances. Seasonal forecasts are, of course, hit or miss, to begin with, but they are official forecasts."

The Weather Service is predicting overnight lows in the 40s over the next few days. The high temperature will be in the high 60s, low 70s. There is a 20 percent chance of rain Tuesday night, increasing to 40-50 percent Wednesday.

Jorge Encinas | 520-547-9732

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