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昨日はひどい雨雷も落ちて、大変でした。

I would translate it like this:

"Concerning yesterday, there being terrible rain and thunder dropping it was terrible."

In this case I assumed that で represents the connective form of です/だ.

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    I wonder if that could be that で that means "by" 箸で食べる (eat by/with chopsticks) it may translate in a bit of an odd way but it could be that... "Yesterday, because of a serious rain thunders fell, it was terrible" Jul 11, 2017 at 12:51
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    @Felipe Oliveira Indeed, it can be considered that way, too: 雨で大変でした. I think if it's きのうは雨で風もありました, the で is continuing form of です/だ. The particle で also has the usage to indicate the reason, 'because' (See 1-7 of this page: dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/148951/meaning/m1u/%E3%81%A7 ).
    – karlalou
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:31

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You're right. Literally, "Yesterday, it was terrible rain and there were claps of thunder and it was awful." Since the basic sentence is 昨日は大変でした, you could make "yesterday" the subject of "was awful" in an English translation: "Yesterday was awful - there was terrible rain and claps of thunder".

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  • why で it's used instead of と ? Jul 11, 2017 at 13:09
  • @Felipe Oliveira We say 昨日は雨と雷で大変でした, but it's not very natural to say 雨と雷が[も]落ちて
    – karlalou
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:35
  • @karlalou so 「猫と犬が走った」 could become 「猫で犬が走った」? Jul 11, 2017 at 15:01
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    @FelipeOliveira The で is the continuative form of the copula (or, assertive auxiliary) だ. In other words, ひどい雨雷も落ちて is the combination of ひどい雨だった + 雷も落ちた. You don't say ひどい雨と雷が落ちた "Heavy rain and thunder fell", cos 雨 and 雷 can't share the same verb; 雨 doesn't 落ちる but does 降る.
    – Chocolate
    Jul 11, 2017 at 15:44
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    @Chocolate I got it why と can't be used, thanks a lot for clearing that out! Jul 11, 2017 at 16:29

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