A severe thunderstorm struck the Treasure Valley shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, bringing wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, dropping 0.36 inch of rain in less than an hour and knocking out electricity to at least 8,000 Idaho Power customers in Boise. The powerful storm caused localized flooding and brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill in some areas.
"It came in pretty quick," said Bill Wojcik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We got lightning, heavy rain and heavy wind."
The wind knocked over trees that brought down power lines in pockets throughout Boise. Areas affected included portions of Downtown, the Boise Bench, the Parkcenter area and a swath between Orchard and Milwaukee streets. The Idaho Statesman was among businesses affected by the outage, before electricity was restored at 6:45 p.m.
The outage dimmed signal lights throughout the affected areas. On North Curtis Road across from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, traffic slowed to a crawl as motorists stopped at a series of stoplights before proceeding between Emerald Street and Fairview Avenue.
Power was restored to most of the 8,000 or so customers who were without power in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Early Friday, however, Idaho Power reported another outage affecting about 600 customers.
The company called in its emergency crews as well as some from outside the area.
A low pressure ridge from California blew north into southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, bringing the unsettled weather. Severe weather warnings were issued in western Owyhee County in Idaho and Oregon's Harney County.
Total precipitation from the storm was 0.42 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Thursday's rain accounts for nearly all of this August's precipitation in Boise 0.43 inches but it fell short of the single-day record for Aug. 22, which was 0.7 inches in 1984.
Additional thunderstorms moved through the Treasure Valley overnight Thursday and into Friday morning. Friday's forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 88 degrees.