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Death by lightning near Los Angeles


The thunderstorms were accompanied by lightning and heavy downpours that were not typical of June in California.
The lightning also raised concerns about the potential for wildfires in the drought-stricken region.
Lightning is responsible for a large number of forest fires in the West.

The first lightning death in Southern California in years was reported Wednesday as thunderstorms continued to rock the region.

The storms come as an area of ​​low pressure off the coast channeled monsoon moisture into the area.

A woman and two dogs were killed by lightning at 8:50 a.m. near the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jonathan Branham. The city announced several outdoor activities were canceled due to weather.

The thunderstorms were accompanied by lightning and heavy downpours that were not typical for June in California, forecasters said. Monsoon humidity at this time of year is more common in Arizona and New Mexico than in California.

Amid concerns about lightning, hail and wind, the National Weather Service issued special weather advisories Wednesday morning for several parts of the region.

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Southern California Edison reported power outages affecting more than 27,000 customers, mostly in Los Angeles County.

The Weather Service said most of the precipitation was light, but there were exceptions, including a cell above the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County where a gauge recorded nearly an inch of rain .

In the Los Angles area, Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the Oxnard Weather Service, said monsoon moisture, which is brought in from the south by a reversal in wind direction – caused Wednesday by a system of low pressure northwest of Los Angeles – usually only occurs a few times a year, usually in July or August, the LA Times said.

The lightning also raised concerns about the potential for wildfires in the drought-stricken region. “AccuWeather meteorologists are increasingly concerned about the risk of dry thunderstorms developing in parts of California on Wednesday and Thursday as a surge of mid-level atmospheric humidity arrives along with a jet stream disruption. “said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter.

The threat of summer thunderstorms in the western United States often puts firefighters on alert because in the dry west humidity is often so low that rain falling from thunderstorms evaporates before reaching the floor. Such evaporating rain is called “virga”.

Even if the rain does not reach the ground, lightning passes from the clouds to the ground. This lightning can start fires in dry woods without rain to extinguish or slow the fires.

Lightning is responsible for a large number of forest fires in the West.

The largest wildfire in California history, the August Complex Fire, has scorched over a million acres after igniting from lightning in August 2020. This fire destroyed more than 900 structures in seven counties and kills 1.

Farther east over the past few days, southerly breezes have been battering the southwest interior, AccuWeather said. This change in wind direction from west to south is known as the North American monsoon. Rising humidity has triggered numerous downpours and thunderstorms there, especially in New Mexico.

In Southern California, forecasters said the weather would begin to calm on Thursday and then become more June-like.

Contributor: The Associated Press

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.





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