Spewing heavy rains, lightning and thunder through Lawrence this morning, a roaring thunderstorm more than doubled the city's rainfall for this month and caused a house fire about six miles south of town.
Douglas County sheriff's officers reported that at about 4:35 a.m. today, lightning struck the home of Robert and Pat Nelson, Rt. 2, setting the house on fire.
The lighting strike created a large, smoking hole on the north end of the house and scattered debris over the yard, the sheriff's office reported.
The Palmyra Township Fire Department extinguished the fire and removed smoldering insulation, officers said. There was no damage estimate made this morning, officers said.
Meanwhile, the thunderstorm also gave the city its first major soaking this month.
As of 7 a.m., the Kansas University Weather Service recorded 0.86 of an inch of rain. The city had received only 0.37 of an inch this month before the storm. The last rainfall occurred Sept. 5.
The month's rainfall total now stands at 1.23 inches. Lawrence receives an average of 3.94 inches of rain in September.
For the year, Lawrence has received 26.04 inches of precipitation. The year-to-date average through the end of the month is 30.17 inches.
Other rainfall amounts in Douglas County showed a spotty precipitation pattern. Eudora reported 1.15 inches and Clinton Lake received 1.07 inches. But Lecompton measured 0.46 of an inch and Worden measured 0.32 of an inch.
Today should mark the end of summer-like weather for a while in Lawrence. The forecast calls for gusty south winds to shift to the north before midnight and bring in cooler temperatures Friday.
Friday's high should reach 74 degrees, with strong north winds at 15-25 mph. The wind should subside Friday night, and the overnight low is expected to dip to 48 degrees.