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Monsoonal Moisture Caused Rain, Lightning In East San Diego County

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Monsoonal moisture out of Arizona and Mexico generated thunderheads that delivered pounding downpours and flashes of lightning to eastern San Diego County for a second consecutive day Thursday.

Cloudbursts began dousing the region's mountains and deserts in the late afternoon, as they had done on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Over the next several hours, anywhere from a quarter-inch to nearly two inches of moisture fell across a wide area, meteorologist Roger Pierce said. Some of the most significant precipitation totals were 0.94 of an inch in Mount Laguna, 0.37 of an inch near Pine Valley and 0.27 of an inch in Descanso.

During the same period, the National Weather Service logged about 200 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. The bolts sparked a few small brush fires that were quickly extinguished by the accompanying showers, Pierce said. There were also reports of pea-size hail falling in some backcountry locales.

The only reported property damage from the intense but fleeting summer storm involved a radio tower knocked out of service in the Laguna area. It was unclear exactly how the problem occurred, sheriff's Lt. Robert Smith said.

There will be a chance of more of the same weather in the East County on Friday, though it was expected to be considerably milder, if it occurs at all, Pierce said.

The weekend should bring a continued lessening of humidity and dwindling potential for rain across the county, according to forecasters.