Valley News -

By Diane Sieker
Writer 

Thunderstorm activity erupts throughout Anza

 

Last updated 8/8/2019 at 3:49pm

Diane Sieker photo

Birds take flight as a thunderstorm rages over Anza during the monsoonal storms last week in Anza.

Thunderstorms erupted across the valley last week, the result of a monsoonal flow that brought high humidity to the area.

The spectacular lightening shows and rumbles of thunder thrilled residents, who took to social media to document the fleeting and hit-or-miss storms.

"Really dark right now over the house – loud thunder – but no rain, just a little drip here and there. Come on, we need some here too!" Anza resident Kit Ray said on Facebook's Anza Accurate Emergency Alerts group. Images of the weather activity filled local social media feeds.

Some areas of the Valley received rain, while other locations went without any.

These summer thunderstorms can be dangerous to residents, with flash flooding and lightning strikes occurring with little warning time. Residents were advised of the dangers via texts, radio PSAs and social media posts.

The U.S. Forest Service issued a safety alert Monday, July 22.

"We have received our first thunderstorm of the season! With this increase in monsoonal moisture over the region, which will continue this week, a few notes:

"1. If you're out recreating, be prepared for showers. You may want to consider bringing rain gear.

"2. That rain, however, may come with lightning. Follow these tips if you're caught in such conditions: http://www.fs.fed.us/safety/outdoor/lightning.shtml.

"3. Be wary of flash floods. Over in the San Jacinto Mountains, where the Cranston Fire burned nearly a year ago, Caltrans District 8 may close Highway 74, including escorts, in the event of debris flows.

"4. Afterwards, we might be flying above. During the summer monsoonal season, our firefighters frequently perform reconnaissance flights over the mountains to check for lightning strike fires," according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Lesley McMillien photo

Dark clouds promise rain during the monsoonal storms last week in Anza.

There were no reports of storm-related damage in Anza.

According to http://www.weatherbug.com, "By early July, the temperature and pressure differences are usually big enough for the monsoon flow to make its way across the U.S. and Mexico border, bringing tropical moisture from the Gulf of California and Mexico. The moisture-laden air is lifted high in the atmosphere by the rising hot air over the desert southwest. This lift causes clouds and strong thunderstorms with frequent lightning to form over the mountains and desert later in the afternoon each day."

In Southern California, typically monsoon season begins during the first weeks of July and continues through September.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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