I recently moved to western SC, near Augusta, GA.
We have had rain and thunderstorms every single day, positively every single day. According to everyone here I talk to, this is extremely unusual weather and we never got this kind of rain until this late spring, early summer. It is raining as I type this but you can see blue sky patches in the background. Everyday is like this, like clockwork.
The "washing machine" sound you describe is exactly like what it is here, when we get a good storm, and the frequent, glowing lightning that doesn't strike in bolts and happens every second or other second.
After re-reading your post I thought about it. But, that doesn't necessarily mean the lightning and downpours aren't perfectly normal. However, according to everyone down here, the daily rainstorms are quite unusual.
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