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SoCal's Thunderstorm Was Rare And Spectacular — And More Rain May Arrive Thursday

A lightning strike crackles across the sky, showing some downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers in the distance.
Lightning strikes near downtown L.A. as seen from Echo Park/Historic Filipinotown.
(Courtesy Javier Carmorlinga)
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Parts of Southern California got more much-needed rain this morning following Monday's thunderstorm.

But the intensity of the lightning and thunder we saw and heard yesterday was rare for the region, according to National Weather Service forecaster Andrew Rorke.

"[It was] probably a once-in-10 or 15-year type of event, and was modified by the fact that the clouds producing the lightning were so far above the ground, which really allowed many people to see the lightning," he said.

Rainfall totals were in fact relatively light, ranging from about one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch in Los Angeles County. Parts of Orange County and the Inland Empire saw close to a third of an inch of rain.

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What was significant was the number of lightning strikes.

More than one thousand were reported from L.A. County up into eastern Santa Barbara County and off the coast. Even more were reported in Orange and San Diego counties.

None of the local strikes caused significant damage.

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"[A] few telephone poles were hit, a few very small fires were started that were quickly put out, so no lasting effects from them other than lots of pictures flooding Twitter," Rorke said.

There's still a chance of lingering rain showers through this morning in L.A. County, the Inland Empire and the deserts.

Skies will be clear this afternoon, but a chance of rain will return Thursday night and Friday.

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