Rain Takes L.A. by Surprise as Wildfires Continue Burning Nearby in SoCal

A firefighter walks into the smoke of the Maria Fire at South Mountain Road, in Santa Paula, Ventura County, in California, on Nov. 1, 2019. (Credit: APU GOMES via Getty Images)

A firefighter walks into the smoke of the Maria Fire at South Mountain Road, in Santa Paula, Ventura County, in California, on Nov. 1, 2019. (Credit: APU GOMES via Getty Images)

Light rain or melted hail fell on some parts of Southern California including Los Angeles on Saturday as wildfires raged in neighboring areas, taking even forecasters by surprise.

The L.A. office of the National Weather Service reported two lightning strikes at 10:43 a.m. and warned of more possible lightning over the counties of Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Forecasters said residents in those areas should go indoors if “thunder roars.”

Red flag warnings were also in effect in parts of L.A. and Ventura, keeping residents and authorities on high alert due to dry weather bringing fire risks. Given those conditions, forecasters didn’t expect the reports of rainfall.

On Twitter, users posted photos and videos of light rain out of areas such as Griffith Park, prompting #LARain to become the top trending topic for the region.

“Thank you all for the reports! They help us when rainfall misses observation stations,” the National Weather Service tweeted. “The thinking was the air may be too dry for rainfall to reach the ground but it looks like melted hail made it through in some places.”

In Ventura County, firefighters were still working to contain the Maria Fire that burned more than a dozen square miles near Somis and Santa Paula. Two other major wildfires in the region, the Hill and Easy fires, were both 95% contained as of Saturday.

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