Hail coats beach as storm brings lightning, flood warnings

Hail covers the beach north of the Huntington Beach Pier on Monday morning.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A winter storm brought hail to parts of Southern California on Monday, and dangerous lightning extended from Hermosa Beach to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Meanwhile, a flash flood warning was issued for parts of Orange County where a fire last year scorched the Silverado Canyon hillside and left mountain homes vulnerable to mudslides.

“This is a dangerous situation for Silverado Canyon residents,” read the warning issued just before 11 a.m., “and immediate measures should be taken to protect life and property.”

The warning is in effect through 1 p.m.


The lightning triggered a warning from the National Weather Service on Monday morning, and lifeguards with Los Angeles County Fire Department urged people to stay away from the beach.

Small hail fell an inch deep in Huntington Beach, according to the NWS. Photos showed pea-sized hail covering sand and an ocean boardwalk.

In L.A. County, hail also fell, covering streets and cars on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The winter scenes looked more like a postcard from the East Coast.

Hail could continue to fall throughout the day, said meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie with the weather agency in Oxnard.

As of Monday morning, Santa Monica got 2.67 inches of rain, the most rainfall in Los Angeles County, according to the weather service. Downtown Los Angeles got nearly an inch of rain.

As much as 8 inches of snow could fall onto the higher elevations of Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead and as much as 3 inches of powder could land as low as 4,000 feet, the NWS reported.

Visibility could be limited and drivers are asked to bring tire chains and extra supplies in case of an emergency.


The storm is expected to continue bringing rain overnight before moving out of the area Tuesday as temperatures climb.

Overnight, there was flooding on the 110 and 105 freeways amid heavy downpours, and parts of Ventura County saw up to half an inch of rain per hour.

In addition, a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County was shut down in both directions early Sunday after a mudslide, authorities said.

The slide occurred about 4:30 a.m., prompting the road’s closure between Calleguas Creek and Mugu Rock. It was reopened Sunday evening.


A nine-mile stretch of the highway -- between Las Posas and Yerba Buena roads -- just reopened Friday after being closed in late November because of mud- and rockslides. The months-long road closure was necessary to stabilize the road and make sure drivers were safe, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Staff writer Cindy Chang contributed to this report.

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