A flash flood warning was issued Wednesday night for the high desert and Los Angeles County mountains as temperatures dropped and scattered showers fell across Southern California.
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The rain threat applies to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange and Riverside counties. The greatest chances of thunderstorms are in mountain areas, forecasters said. Any thunderstorms that develop will be capable of producing brief heavy rain, small hail and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning, according to a National Weather Service statement.
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A cluster of thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall in excess of 1 inch per hour about 7 miles east of Llano, the NWS said.
"If you see an ominous sky or hear thunder roar, it's better just to head indoors and let that storm roll through," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger. "It's cloudy to start, in the mountains is where we expect scattered showers and embedded thunderstorms. Occasionally, those storms will drift into the inland valleys."
Heavy rainfall could produce some street flooding, and "if any thunderstorms move over the recent burn areas, minor mud and debris flows would be possible," according to the NWS.
Officials warned of the high risk of rip currents at Southern California beaches.
High temperatures were expected to drop to the 70s Wednesday, compared to the 90s over the weekend at the height of the recent heat wave, and the 80s earlier this week.
The NWS forecast mostly cloudy skies today and highs of 62 on Mount Wilson; 66 in Avalon; 67 in San Clemente; 70 at LAX and Laguna Beach; 71 in Newport Beach; 72 in Long Beach and Palmdale; 73 in Burbank and Lancaster; 74 in Mission Viejo and Saugus; 75 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Woodland Hills; and 76 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine.
Weekend temperatures were around 20 degrees above normal. Wednesday's will only be around four degrees above the average, the NWS said.
The rain comes near the end of what has been a dismal wet season in California, entering the fourth year of a drought. Rainfall in Los Angeles since Oct. 1 has totaled 7.4 inches, well below the average of 12.56 inches.
Last year, Los Angeles picked up 5.63 inches of rain during that period, historically the time of year when California receives the most rain.