Thunderstorms, lightning hit Southern California

Parts of Southern California were hit by thunder, lightning, rain and even hail overnight and into Wednesday morning as monsoonal moisture moved through the region.

The National Weather Service issued special weather advisories Wednesday morning for several parts of the region warning of rain, possible lightning strikes, heavy winds and thunder.

While the rainfall and storms have been most severe in north and west Los Angeles County, extreme weather has impacted the region from west Orange County, where Newport Beach temporarily shuttered beaches early Wednesday for lightning, to central Ventura County, where firefighters were responding to at least two brush fires in the area of ​​recent storms.

The cells of rain and storms were scattered, hitting such areas as Long Beach, downtown LA, Glendale, western San Gabriel Valley and Antelope Valley.

“We’ve had quite an active last night, and it’s continuing this morning,” said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “Any of these storms could produce a lot of lightning, and we’ve seen some gusty winds already. … We’ve had some reports of pea-sized hail. “

It was recorded at 66 mph just west of Lancaster, and the hail had been reported in Camarillo and Pasadena overnight.

Officials urged people to take extra caution during the morning commute as weather continued.

Cerritos College in Norwalk announced it closed campus Wednesday after a lightning strike and subsequent campus-wide power outage, one of many scattered power outages throughout the region.

“Expecting brief heavy showers, small hail, and gusty winds for your morning commute,” the NWS said in a statement.

Kittell said lightning remains the largest concern, especially “dry lightning,” which can be very difficult without rain, becoming a huge fire threat.

“In the last hour we’ve had 208 lightning strikes that have hit the ground in Los Angeles County,” Kittell said at about 8 am Wednesday. He said they recorded an additional 350 lightning strikes that remained in the clouds, totaling “quite a bit of lightning” in the area.

“Lightning is a very good starting source and the environment is pretty ripe for fire right now,” Kittell said. He said Wednesday morning that the threat of “dry lightning” remains high, and there have been some reports of striking power poles and minor fires, but all have been manageable so far.

The storms began to move into Central California by mid-morninWednesday, with National Weather Service officials warning Kern County could see most severe thunderstorms. But in Fresno early Wednesday, officials alleged a wildfire sparked by a thunderstorm, the Fresno Bee reported. It’s since been contained.

Kittell did say that the afternoon should bring more moisture with the storms, which should lessen the threat of that dry lightning.

Officials urged campers and others outdoors to seek shelter when lightning and thunder hit and be on the lookout for fires.

Wednesday morning, mostly under a quarter-inch, but some spots like the heaviest downpours, like north of Burbank, near Lancaster and west of El Monte had closer to a half-inch, according to to National Weather Service reports.

The Los Angeles area has a 50% chance of showers Wednesday with highs near 90.

Officials said mountain and desert areas could see more extreme weather through the afternoon.

The Northwest of Los Angeles is brought on by the northwest of Los Angeles – usually only occurs in a few times a year, usually in July or August.

He said the weather is expected to continue or intensify throughout the day Wednesday but should slow down overnight.

Leave a Comment