It is possible a fire onboard a BP drillship Tuesday at the site of the massive oil leak in the northern Gulf of Mexico was started by lightning.
The small fire halted oil capturing operations for time Tuesday.
Very spotty thunderstorm activity fire up over the north-central Gulf Tuesday. Radar and lightning strike information indicated that one such thunderstorm had developed in the general vicinity of the well site.
The small blue squares on the map indicate lightning strikes spanning approximately 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. CDT, just to the southwest of the fire.
The fire was noticed around 9:30 a.m. CDT and was extinguished shortly thereafter.
Capturing operations of the escaping oil had resumed as of the mid-afternoon Tuesday, following safety inspections.
Very hot, humid air was hanging over the Gulf Coast and was contributing to the formation of spotty thunderstorms as well as poor air quality in the vicinity of the oil slick.
The weather pattern will favor additional spotty thunderstorm activity over the northern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday evening and during most afternoons and evenings through the end of the week.
Severe storms may erupt from Texas to Wisconsin on Monday as the storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the Plains on Saturday and Sunday shifts slowly to the east.
Several tornadoes touched down from Oklahoma to Iowa, including near Wichita, Kan., and Oklahoma City, on Sunday.
A slow-moving storm resulted in a week of below-normal temperatures that will likely continue into the week.
Several tornado reports have come out of the Midwest this evening, impacting areas around Wichita and Oklahoma City.
Heavy rain returning to the northern Plains will generate a renewed flood threat for the Red River.
Keep up to date on the severe thunderstorm outbreak unfolding across the Plains by tracking local radars.
New England (1763)
"The 19th day of May, 1793, a bad storm of hail and rain and very cold following which froze the ground and puddles of water." by Ebenser Byles, Town Clerk of Ashford.
Record rainfall during thunderstorms at Beaumont (4.22 inches in 6 hours) and Port Arthur (about 6 inches in 8 hours).
Lubbock, TX (1996)
105 degrees, all time May record.