DISCUSSION: Between the late morning and late afternoon hours on Friday across many parts of northern Spain and southern France, there was a relatively large area of strong to severe thunderstorms. Many of these thunderstorms were quite intense at their peak and generated a plethora of dangerous lightning, heavy rainfall, and large hail. As is clearly seen in the image attached above (courtesy of Sat24), there was substantial reported in association with the aforementioned thunderstorms based on the numerous orange-colored squares spread across the region. Note how across the region in which the most lightning strikes were reported, there was also very dense and deep cloud cover. This indicated the presence of very intense thunderstorms based on the greater brightness of the associated cloud cover. This type of convection is not uncommon in early Spring across Europe since (similar to the United States) this is the approximate beginning of their primary severe weather season!
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz