Chances of light rain, thunderstorms extend to Southern California valleys, coast – San Bernardino Sun

Southern Californians from the coast to the desert could experience some light rain and thunderstorms between Tuesday and Thursday as some of the first monsoonal moisture of the year begins to build over the region, meteorologists said.

But rainfall totals aren’t expected to be significant, with mountain areas only optimistically forecasted to receive between one-tenth to one-third of an inch of rain, according to Mark Moede, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Seasonably high temperatures will likely persist inland, but cloud cover could potentially knock high temperatures Wednesday down by a few degrees, Moede said.

The increase in atmospheric moisture comes from the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the Gulf of California to the south, Moede said. Not only does this coincide with the first day of summer on Tuesday, June 21, but also with the traditional start of monsoon season.

Areas could start seeing rain and lightning as soon as Tuesday night, according to David Gomberg, meteorologist with the NWS. There will be between a 20 and 40 percent chance of precipitation across much of Los Angeles County during a 24-hour period ending on Wednesday night, he said.

In the Inland Empire, residents living further north and east around the San Bernardino County mountains will have the best chance at experiencing rainfall, Moede said.

“Some of the rain that falls will evaporate before it reaches the ground (in lower elevation areas),” Moede said.

The chance of showers and thunder along the coast extends from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, Gomberg said.

On Thursday, June 23, a change in the atmospheric flow pattern will reduce the chances of rainfall across the region, according to Moede. However, some stray showers could be seen inland Thursday afternoon, he said.

Monsoon-like weather can increase concerns for flash flooding and mudslides in recent burn scar areas, however, these likely won’t be a factor during this week’s precipitation, Moede said.

During times of heavier rainfall, areas of concern in the Inland Empire include locations inside of the Apple and El Dorado fire burn scars, Moede said. In Los Angeles County, areas inside of the burn scars of the Bobcat, Ranch 2 and Lake fires should be on heightened alert when heavier rain is expected, Gomberg said.

Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes could also be a factor during this week’s storms, according to Gomberg. An elevated fire danger was announced for interior areas of Los Angeles County on Tuesday and Wednesday, the NWS said.

During lightning, the NWS recommends residents to seek shelters indoor or inside of a hard-topped car. If someone is hiking during a lightning storm, they’re advised to get below the tree line, the NWS said.

On Monday, many areas across inland Southern California hit the high 90s or triple-digit temperatures, according to the NWS. San Bernardino, for instance, reached 100 degrees. In Los Angeles County, the temperature reached 94 in Topanga and 91 in Long Beach. in Orange County, Santa Ana reached 92 degrees. The heat was expected to extend through the weekend and into next week.

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