Monsoonal weather brings light rain to Southern California

Moisture brought to Southern California by a “monsoon flow” caused by shifting wind patterns brought light rain showers early Monday and a risk of thunderstorms into the afternoon.

Small pockets of rain have been spotted throughout the Southland, from southern Los Angeles County in Wilmington to Oxnard and other pockets of Ventura County, said David Sweet, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard.

This monsoonal humidity, which is the result of south-north shifting wind patterns bringing moisture up from Mexico, can trigger thunderstorms like the one last month when a woman and her two dogs were killed by lightning in Pico Rivera.

“Typically for the monsoon, we emphasize the mountains and the deserts. These areas are more frequent sites of rainfall and thunderstorms,” ​​Sweet said. “But even areas west of the mountains can and have received light rain.”

The surf on many beaches has also increased with the change in weather. The National Weather Service issued a hazard statement for Los Angeles County beaches, the islands of Catalina and Santa Barbara, and the Malibu coast through Thursday morning. There is a possibility of 3- to 6-foot waves and dangerous currents at some beaches, Sweet said.

Even if pockets of rain sweep through the region, Sweet said no areas are expected to see significant rainfall and the rainfall will not affect the ongoing drought.

“People would be lucky to get a tenth of an inch. I it’s very light amounts,” he said. “The storms are moving at a pretty good rate, so no area can expect too much of it.”

As of 8am Monday, he said there had only been light showers but there was still a possibility of thunderstorms, the likelihood of which will increase into the afternoon and evening. That threat would primarily affect the eastern mountains and deserts, Sweet said.

Thunderstorms can also bring an increased risk of dry lightning, which can strike without rain and easily start fires.

“Any lightning strike can start a fire, especially if it comes from a dry storm,” Sweet said. “All you get from storms like this is lightning and dusty winds, which is not good.”

The chance of moisture and storms should be over by Tuesday, which meteorologists say is “looking sunny and dry.” Monsoonal weather brings light rain to Southern California

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