Thunder, lightning and rainfall rocked Southern California late Monday afternoon, complicating efforts on everything from cleaning up a massive oil spill off the Orange County coast to delaying kickoff at a Los Angeles Chargers game.
The National Weather Service’s Los Angeles area office warned shortly after 2 p.m. that showers were starting to develop over coastal waters and that storm activity would continue to build in the coming hours.
Shortly before 4 p.m., the storm system brought rain to parts of Long Beach, Catalina and areas of southern Orange County, according to the Weather Service.
Within an hour, storms were impacting much of the Southland.
The Weather Service tweeted that storms were speckling the metro area with lightning strikes documented from Marina del Rey to Huntington Beach, forecasters said, adding that they warned swimmers and boaters to stay out of the water.
Following lightning strikes on beaches, Los Angeles County lifeguards shut down all county beaches, including Avalon on Catalina Island.
A stretch of sand from San Pedro to Malibu was cleared by lifeguards.
Boaters were advised to check weather conditions before heading out, and to return to harbor immediately if they got caught in a thunderstorm, officials said.
“We are experiencing numerous lightning strikes across the greater Los Angeles area,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted shortly after 5 p.m. “For your safety, we advise residents to seek shelter and remain inside until this lightning activity subsides.”
A lightning strike near SoFi Stadium delayed kickoff in the Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders game by about 30 minutes, according to tweets by the Chargers’ official account.
While the storm systems brought needed rainfall to a parched Southern California, all areas received well below an inch.
According to the Weather Service’s most recent rainfall totals, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Nordhoff Ridge in Ventura County saw the most rain at 0.20 inches.
A gauge in Santa Monica recorded the most rainfall in Los Angeles County — 0.16 inches, the Weather Service said. Most areas saw under 0.10 inches of rain.
Though little total rain fell, some storm bands were intense, producing heavy downpours not typically seen in Southern California.