Storm brings rain, lightning to Southern California; prompts beach closures

Local news

All Los Angeles County beaches were closed to the public Monday afternoon as rain and lightning struck the area for the first time in months.

Beaches from the San Pedro area to Malibu, including Avalon and Catalina Island, are closed, the L.A. County Fire Department Lifeguard Division announced in a tweet.

Lifeguards were clearing the water of all swimmers and advising patrons on the beach to seek shelter immediately. For mariners out on the water, the department advised returning to harbor immediately.

As showers and storms speckled the metro area, residents across the area were advised to seek shelter and stay out and away from the water, the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office said.

Even Monday night’s NFL game at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders was delayed nearly an hour due to the lightning. The L.A. team

The NWS had predicted earlier in the day that a low pressure system to the southwest of the state would lift into the region Monday, bringing moisture and instability, with a chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms over Ventura and L.A. counties starting late in afternoon through the night.

“Storms that form will be capable of creating lightning with very little rainfall and gusty downdraft winds,” the service said.

Around 5:30 p.m., the NWS said showers and storms were making their way into Ventura County.

Any lightning that occurs will have a chance of fire ignition due to the unseasonably dry fuels across the region.

Those planning outdoor activities were advised to keep an eye to the sky and monitor the forecasts and warnings.

“If you hear thunder or see lightning, immediately seek shelter indoors or in a hard top vehicle,” the NSW said. “Please report any sighting of smoke or fire in wildland areas.”

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