Thunderstorms rip C.O. with lightning, hail

Heavy rain as well; south county hard-hit

BEND, Ore. - Another string of intense thunderstorms rocked and rolled through Central Oregon Sunday night, hitting the region with heavy rain, hail and plenty of lightning.

South of Bend, travelers on Highway 97 slowed or pulled over amid the heavy rain and hail. One weather spotter reported the rain falling at a rate of a half-inch an hour, accompanied by pea-sized hail.

At Sunriver, some minor flooding was reported from the heavy rain, which was preceded by hail up an inch in diameter and which piled up about two inches deep, covering the ground, people in the area said. A lot of hail also fell south of Sunriver in the area of Oregon Water Wonderland No. 2.

And once again, the thunderstorms brought a major cooldown -- from 84 degrees around 6 p.m. at Bend Airport to 64 degrees four hours later.

Forecasters said the storms were tapering off later Sunday night but that isolated thunderstorms still could occur overnight. They also warned another round of storms is expected Monday afternoon and evening, before a cold front moves across the region Tuesday.

Fire crews were called out on some scattered lightning-related calls, such as a tree on fire near an irrigation canal along Dodds Road east of Bend.

Forest lookouts will step up their watch for new smoke or flames in coming days, after a bit of a recent breather in a month that's traditionally the peak of wildfire season.

And we'll be tracking the storms and any resulting fires here at KTVZ.COM and on NewsChannel 21 We have several great storm (hail and lightning) photos to add to our summer photo album as well; feel free to share 1-2 of yours at

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