Thunder and Lightening Storms Strike Southland

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Rain and lightning moved across parts of the Southland today as monsoonal moisture continued to linger over the area, forcing the closure of Los Angeles County beaches as storms quickly descended on the area.

National Weather Service forecasters said a line of thunderstorms moved into Long Beach, the South Bay and Catalina Island around 4:30 p.m. They noted that frequent lightning had been spotted in the Long Beach-South Bay area, and warned people who had gone to beaches to escape the heat to move indoors.

Los Angeles County lifeguards ordered swimmers out of the ocean in Redondo Beach when lightning began. Hermosa Beach was then closed, then lifeguards shuttered all beaches in the county, ordering people out of the water and advising them to seek shelter.

NWS forecasters said the storms produced wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph, with gusts reaching 50 mph in the mountains.

Earlier in the day, isolated thunderstorms were reported in the Antelope Valley, bringing some downpours and gusting winds to areas such as Pearblossom and Littlerock.

Lightning was also spotted off the coast of Orange County.

Forecasters had predicted a 20 percent chance of storms in the area tonight.

The monsoonal moisture is expected to remain in the area through Friday, bringing the continued chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms in the mountains and Antelope Valley.

Across the rest of Los Angeles County, showers could continue tonight and into Wednesday.

“The increased cloud coverage is expected to bring some cooling to much of the forecast area on Wednesday, with a gradual cooling trend Thursday through the weekend as onshore flow increases,” according to the National Weather Service.

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