A cluster of thunderstorms rolled slowly across the Southland Wednesday, bringing bursts of rain that dampened streets and lightning strikes that prompted an evacuation of the beach in Santa Monica.
Fueled by a flow of monsoonal moisture, the storms moved from east to west across the area, with rain and thunder reported in the San Gabriel Valley before the precipitation arrived in the West Los Angeles and West Hollywood area by around 11:30 a.m.
Rain was also reported in Burbank and other valley areas. Los Angeles Fire Department crews responded to a pair of small brush fires in the Encino area around the time the storm rolled in, prompting speculation that lightning strikes were to blame.
A short time later, lightning was spotted in the Santa Monica area, prompting the city to issue an evacuation order for the ocean and beach areas. Authorities warned people to seek shelter indoors until the storm passed.
National Weather Service officials echoed that advice, with a Twitter post saying, “When thunder roars go indoors.”
Forecasters said warm and humid conditions were expected to continue into the afternoon, with a slight chance of additional thunderstorms lingering into Wednesday evening.
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