CISCO GROVE -- Tuesday afternoon Sierra storms prompted severe thunderstorm warnings from the National Weather Service. Those warnings urged people to seek shelter because of lightning. But the heavy downpours of rain and hail descended on I-80 with danger of their own.
The California Highway Patrol was busy responding to accidents on the slick interstate.
"It almost looked like there was snow on the road, there was that much hail," said Officer Ryan Dore with Truckee CHP.
Dore says the driver of a van had to be hospitalized after it rolled over near Emigrant Gap. The speed limit is 65, but Dore says that is too fast for weather.
"We recommend 35-40 mph at the most, especially when you start getting the standing hail on the road. That's no different than snow. It gets very slick," Dore said.
"Just make sure you know that the weather can change at any moment. I mean it's almost 85 degrees in Grass Valley and it's 55 up here, so it's a lot colder. You never know. It can change in a moment's notice up here," said Jay Nau, who was visiting from Grass Valley.
The Nau family drove up safely from Grass Valley to get away from the heat and get a look at the thunderstorms.
"I love coming out, seeing the lightning and the rain. I just love it," Nau said.
And for professional photographer Anthony Blake, this is the kind of day he lives for.
"Pretty fortunate to live as close as we do to all the different parts of this country. It's awesome," Blake said. "I wish we got more of it."
Rain to help prevent forest fires and cloud-to-ground lightning which can ignite them: one of nature's great contradictions on display during the final full week of summer.MoreThunderstormsSierra