Lightning Critically Injures Woman Near Lake Henshaw

Times Staff Writer

An Oceanside woman was critically injured by lightning Wednesday afternoon in the Lake Henshaw area of Palomar Mountain.

However, forecasters are promising San Diego County's thunderstorm activity and uncomfortably high temperature and humidity will wane, barring any intrusion from the remnants of tropical storm Lidia, currently 800 miles south of San Diego.

Jamie Stockdale, 22, was walking with her husband about 2:30 p.m. in an area known as Love Valley when she was struck by lightning, according to Michael Boone, spokesman for the Lake Henshaw station of the U.S. Forest Service.

"One of our units was out watching for lightning strikes when they came across her and her husband on one of the paths," Boone said. "He was carrying her, and said she had been struck. At that time she was conscious and breathing."

Stockdale was taken by Life Flight to UC San Diego Medical Center's trauma unit. She was in critical condition Wednesday night, nursing supervisor Gwendolyn Reed said.

Mountains and Desert

The lightning and thunderstorms remained confined to the mountain and desert areas Wednesday, in contrast to the unusually strong thundershowers, lightning and high winds that whipped through East County on Tuesday.

Though the forecast is for decreasing cloudiness and cooler temperatures, the dissipating tropical storm might cause more trouble in the days ahead, National Weather Service forecaster Harvey Hastrup said.

"The only thing that can make the forecast go a little sour is that, as Lidia falls apart, some of (its) high clouds and middle clouds could move through Southern California," he said. "This would be an additional source of tropical moisture, and would keep the high temperatures and thunderstorm activity around a little longer."

Higher Tides

Lidia's effects also may be felt along the coast, where high tides will again reach 7 feet this weekend, according to Hastrup.

"Basically we're going to have three- to four-foot surf, with occasional breakers of six feet," he said. "That's not a level to be concerned about, but if we do get some unexpected waves from that decaying storm, it (the high tide) will be something to keep an eye on."

The high tides are expected to reach 7.0 feet at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 9:53 p.m. Monday, and 7.3 feet at 8:20 p.m. Saturday and 9:07 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday's high at Lindbergh Field reached 79, a full 6 degrees lower than Tuesday's high. The normal high for the first few days of September is 77 degrees, according to Hastrup.

Coastal highs will gradually cool from the 75- to 82-degree range today to the 73- to 78-degree range on Friday. The inland valleys are also expected to gradually cool off, from highs of 85 to 95 today, dipping to the 78- to 88-degree range Friday. Lows in both areas will remain in the mid-60s.

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