Hail, lightning, heavy rains slam parts of Southern California

Hot, humid conditions are expected to remain in Southern California through the weekend, along with periodic thunderstorms in mountain and high desert areas.

On Thursday, hail, flooding and a lightning-caused fire hit parts of the region.

More than an inch of rain fell in an hour in Escondido, while a downpour in Antelope Valley sent mud flowing onto the 14 Freeway, said NWS weather specialist Stuart Seto. Just before 4 p.m. a lightning strike sparked a fire in brush near Vista del Lago Road and Interstate 5, the California Highway Patrol said.

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The turbulent weather is part of a surge of monsoonal moisture that’s expected to cover Southern California through the weekend.

Debris flows are possible in the Colby fire burn area, where about 1,900 acres were scorched in the hills above Azusa and Glendora in 2014.

In Northern California, Bay Area residents will feel a big cool-down as temperatures drop by 10 to 15 degrees, according to the weather service.

The moisture and humidity will linger over the mountains and desert until Sunday -- and perhaps into next week. Highs will reach the 90s inland and the 70s along the coast Friday.

Weather officials say a powerful mass of high pressure is moving west from Texas.

Winds that typically pull in weather from the ocean are instead dragging weather from the tropics. Rising sea temperatures related to El Niño are playing a role in this week’s storm.

Rain over the last couple of weeks caused flooding in parts of Southern California and helped douse some wildfires but did nothing for reservoirs, according to meteorologist Richard Heim of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center. Reservoir levels did not increase, and for the most part, California remained dry.

Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.


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