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UPDATE: Rain falls around SCV

Thunderstorms hit parts of valley

Posted: August 3, 2012 1:04 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2012 5:39 p.m.


Lightning stabbed at and thunder rattled much of the Santa Clarita Valley on Friday, to the delight of many residents. Isolated thunderstorms may have ignited and then doused a brief brush fire near Castaic Junction.

“We thought it was really exciting,” Connie Wiens, a 36-year-old Santa Clarita Valley resident, said of Friday’s thunderstorms. Wiens said she sat by the window with her two kids during lunch to watch the lightning and wait to hear the thunder.

The low-pressure system that drew moist, unstable air into the Santa Clarita Valley could continue into Saturday, said Bonnie Bartling, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service.

“It’s not widespread,” Bartling said, referring to the thunderstorms. “Maybe a mile away you won’t see it.”

Such was the case Friday afternoon, as rain poured down in Castaic, Saugus and Valencia around 1:30 p.m. while light rain fell in Sand Canyon and Newhall remained dry.

Beachergoers at Castaic Lake were caught off guard, bundling sopping towels, ice chests and children into their arms and fleeing for their cars.

A brush fire broke out north of Highway 126 and San Martinez Grande Canyon Road near Castaic Junction shortly before 2:20 p.m. and blackened about an acre and a half before the rain put it out.

The fire may have been started by lightning, a county Fire Department official said.

Measurable precipitation recorded by National Weather Service sensors showed less-than-spectacular rainfall totals, with .01 of an inch recorded in the Newhall Pass and .02 of an inch in Saugus.

But many residents welcomed the weather departure.

“I love this weather because it’s really different,” said Liz Curry of the Santa Clarita Valley. “It reminds me of Virginia, where I’m from.”

Curry said the thunderstorm was unusual weather for August but she enjoyed the adventure of trekking out in the rain.

While Saturday may feature another thunderstorm, by Sunday a high-pressure system moving into the area will bring in higher temperatures and dryer conditions.

Sunday temperatures will reach 95 degrees, with temperatures climbing to 100 degrees for Monday and 102 degrees for Tuesday, weather forecasters said.

Sunny skies and clear nights are expected.




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