Thunderstorms Clear Beaches, Light Up Westside

A cluster of thunderstorms rolled slowly across the Southland Wednesday, bringing bursts of rain that dampened streets and lightning strikes that prompted an evacuation of the beach in Santa Monica.

Fueled by a flow of monsoonal moisture, the storms moved from east to west across the area, with rain and thunder reported in the San Gabriel Valley before the precipitation arrived in the West Los Angeles and West Hollywood area by around 11:30 a.m.

Rainfall was concentrated in the Holltonightywood Hills and west into the Santa Monica Mountains. Totals included .17 inch at UCLA and .09 inches in Topanga Canyon. Los Angeles Fire Department crews responded to a pair of small brush fires in the Encino area around the time the storm rolled in, prompting speculation that lightning strikes were to blame.

And a tree may have been hit on Sunset Boulevard near the beach. Lightning was spotted in the Santa Monica area, prompting the city to issue an evacuation order for the ocean and beach areas.

Authorities warned people to seek shelter indoors until the storm passed.

Beaches in Malibu were evacuated as a downpour hit and thunder, well, it thundered. On Topanga Canyon Boulevard, a car flipped on its side in the heavy rain just up from the beach.

No one was injured, the CHP said.

Forecasters said warm and humid conditions were expected to continue into the afternoon, with a slight chance of additional thunderstorms lingering into Wednesday night.

You can check the latest forecast here.

Send us your storm pics here.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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