Santa Barbara County Fire-Public Information Officer Twitter

Nearly 1500 Lightning Pulses Recorded in 5 Minute Span in SoCal With More Rain in Forecast

March 6, 2019

A storm bloated by tropical moisture packed in an atmospheric river out of Hawaii unleashed rain on the Southland for a second day today, raising fears of flash flooding below several areas denuded by wildfires in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The lightning and thunder will continue today, but nothing like the show in the skies overnight. The national weather service says there were thousands of lightning pulses over southern California including nearly 1500 in one five minute period. Meteorologist Curt Kaplan:

"It's kind of unusual but basically that's when generally we see the lightning and thunder that usually occurs when we see a lot of cold air loss. This was a different type of scenario on how this worked out," he said.

A lightning strike is believed to be responsible for a power outage in the Venice area where these residents watched the light show.

A strike hit a Delta flight out of LAX, which returned to the airport without incident. Power was also briefly knocked out to three terminals.

Only light rain was falling early this morning, but the rain will intensify before turning to showers this afternoon, said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan from the NWS forecasting station in Oxnard.
Lightning bolts illuminated the night sky from time to time this morning, and Kaplan said the lightning would taper off.

The weather service issued a flash flood watch for all burn areas in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties and said it would be in force until 11 a.m.

See more on this story HERE.