California

1,500 lightning pulses in 5 minutes in storm off Southern California, photos show

Now that’s a lightning storm: See Santa Barbara coastline light up

Santa Barbara County came under a lightning storm that was captured by Mike Eliason, the public information officer for that area's fire department.
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Santa Barbara County came under a lightning storm that was captured by Mike Eliason, the public information officer for that area's fire department.

A dramatic electrical storm lit up Southern California skies Tuesday night as meteorologists recorded around 1,500 lightning pulses in 5 minutes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It’s a lot,” said meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie with the National Weather Service, according to the publication. “We usually don’t get that.”

Lighting hit a Delta Airlines flight departing Los Angeles International Airport, forcing the plane to return, USA Today reported. The storm also briefly cut power to two terminals at the airport.

The skies above Santa Barbara lit up Tuesday evening as more than 1,500 lightning pulses were recorded across California in a 5-minute period, 231 over Santa Barbara County and 40 in L.A. County. This glimpse is from the campus of UC Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County firefighters captured a series of dramatic photos of the lightning, while other Southern California residents also caught photos or video of the electrical storm.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Tuesday night, KABC reported.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office ordered 3,000 people to evacuate over fears of mudslides from fire-scarred hillsides, KTLA reported.

The storm also brought snow, sleet and hail to San Luis Obispo, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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