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Flash Flood Warning, Thunderstorms, Heat, Fire — This Afternoon's SoCal Weather

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Thunderstorms in northern Los Angeles County on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (National Weather Service)
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As a heat wave continues to make the L.A. area very, very hot, the weather continues to surprise — a strong thunderstorm hit near Acton in northern Los Angeles County.

This afternoon will likely see brief heavy rain, hail, and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service. A 44 mph wind gust was reported at Lake Palmdale, as well as a 61 mph just east of Highway 14 in the Antelope Valley.

Frequent lightning is occurring with this storm, and forecasters warn that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from a thunderstorm. People are encouraged to seek shelter inside a building or a vehicle. Scattered thunderstorms will continue over the mountains through this afternoon.

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At the same time, fires continue to burn. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency, which his office said was to ensure the availability of resources to combat fires exacerbated by both the heat and high winds.

Combining them both, a flash flood warning was issued for the Apple Fire burn scar thanks to heavy thunderstorms building over the San Bernardino National Forest. Potentially damaging debris flows are expected in Forest Falls and other parts of San Bernardino County, with the possibility of flows in the southern end of the burn area in the Banning Pass, according to the National Weather Service.

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