Saturday, September 10, 2011

Severe Thunderstorms in Southern California: Mini-Update

Just wanted to make a mini-post about some unusual weather in southern California.  A cutoff low has allowed some severe thunderstorms to form in coastal regions of Orange and Los Angeles counties.  These areas very rarely experience severe thunderstorms, and when they do it is usually associated with winter storms.  These storms are moving from the southeast and have already been associated with some hail in Long Beach.

Picture 16

The main hazard with severe thunderstorms in this part of California would probably be on the roads, especially the freeways.  Check on the radar and consider altering your trip plans if you'd be on a freeway during one of these storms - visibility will be near zero and roads will be very slick, especially since it hasn't rained in a long time.

Unfortunately, most of this rain is falling in the ocean or on concrete so it probably won't get to soak into the ground or provide water to local ecosystems.  There is also some rain up towards Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, though, and hopefully this will help increase fuel moisture and decrease fire hazards in this area.  Despite fears to the contrary, these thunderstorms do have significant rain, rather than just dry lightning.

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