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Climate and Environment

Your SoCal Weather Report For May 4: Wet And Cold And Yes, That Was Thunder You Heard

A screengrab shows information about today's weather. At the top, it reads "Rain, mountain snow, tstorms through Thursday."
An early morning view of conditions along the Southern California coast.
(Courtesy NWS)
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Many of us woke up to rain this morning, and according to the National Weather Service, there’s a 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms as well. That brings the possibility of small hail and lightning.

The bulk of the storm is moving from the Los Angeles basin into Orange and San Bernardino counties, where half an inch of rain is expected on the coast, along with an inch in the mountains.

The wet weather will likely continue through Friday, said Kristen Lund, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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"We’ll expect some lingering showers, especially over the mountains and foothills, through Saturday morning," she said.

Quick Facts
    • Today’s weather: Rain, possible thunderstorms
    • Beaches: Highs in the low 60s, 70-90% chance of rain
    • Mountains: Highs in the mid-30s, 40% chance of snow
    • Inland: Highs in the upper 50s to low 60s, with winds as high as 25 mph

Snow levels are dropping to 4,500 feet at the San Gabriel Mountains and the Grapevine, while in San Bernardino around 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected at 6,500 feet.

A screengrab shows information about today's weather. At the top, it reads "Rain, mountain snow, tstorms through thursday."
(Courtesy National Weather Service)

About that thunder and lightning

Last year when we also had an unusual spate of thunderstorms, we looked into how often we experience thunder and lightning here in L.A.

Here's what we learned:

Within a 10-mile radius of LAX, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recorded a grand total of approximately 1,200 cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the nearly three decades between 1988 and 2017.

By contrast, in Florida — a lightning hotspot — Orlando sees 14,000 strikes in an average year.

This day in history

On this day in 1950, it was 35 degrees in Santa Ana, the lowest temperature on record for May in that region.

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Things to do

All this wet and gloomy weather makes for a perfect indoor excursion. Here are a couple things to do that will keep you dry and entertained:

  • The Unofficial Star Wars Day: Gear up, Lucas fans: a Star Wars inspired event at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in honor of May the 4th starts at 1:30 p.m. today. The afternoon will include photo ops with R2-D2, a 40th anniversary screening of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and book signings with Paul Hirsch and Howard Kazanjian. Costumes encouraged.

Check out our full list of things to do this week.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

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