Storm leaves thousands in county without power
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Did you hear the thunder? Did you see the lightning? Today's big topic in San Diego is the incredible and most unusual thunderstorm. We had last night, much of San Diego experienced hours of thunder, lightning, and pouring rain. And that came less than 24 hours after a mile Santa Ana and another rain store may be on its way by the end of the week. So what the heck is going on with the weather? Joining me is national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy. And welcome back, Alex.
Speaker 2: (00:33)
Thanks for having me on,
Speaker 1: (00:35)
I don't remember a thunderstorm here in San Diego quite like last night. How unusual was that?
Speaker 2: (00:41)
Yeah, no matter how you look at it, whether you fall the weather or not, you probably couldn't help, but notice. And one of the things that made a significant, it was all of the counties. So every city Oceanside, Imperial beach, San Diego, Escondido, everyone got involved with it. Um, and it would rank up there as being unusual, not the most lightening we've ever seen, but there was thousands of strikes when you count everything in the cloud. And then the dangerous ones that hit the ground
Speaker 1: (01:16)
And there was even hail.
Speaker 2: (01:17)
Yes, we had places in Escondido where the strongest storms, thunderstorms produced hail as large as a half inch or marble size. And it wasn't just one or two. Uh, we saw photos of people with a whole bunch of marbles in their hand, which was Hale. And if you're wondering, that's why the rain drops were so large to when the rain first set in, it was melted Hale, uh, where most people were,
Speaker 1: (01:44)
What kind of damage did this storm do?
Speaker 2: (01:47)
Well, fortunately, we didn't get a lot of flooding. Uh, so in a situation like this, when you have a lot of thunderstorms over the course of several hours, we're talking, you know, 3:00 PM all the way up to 11:00 PM. When you have that many thunderstorms moving over the same area, you can sometimes get flooding and in some cases, dangerous flash flooding. So we didn't have that. Um, we did have some Palm trees that took direct hits and burned. We also had, uh, numerous power outages. I had one of my house, uh, briefly. We had one at our office here that was lingering overnight. So we had power lines and transformers that were hit by lightning. In fact, I can vouch. I saw one happen in real time where a main SDG transmission line got hit by a lightning bolt and sparks went flying.
Speaker 1: (02:38)
Now, this is the third electrical storm west of the mountains in a month here. Where are these storms coming from?
Speaker 2: (02:46)
Yeah, that's correct. In a nutshell, it's a tropical moisture, or you can call it monsoon moisture that comes up from the south. And the difference is that there is a weather disturbance. That's able to squeeze that moisture and instability and turn it into thunderstorms. So what's fascinating to me, you know, we hear all the time and we even learn in school. Well, you need a mountain. You need the sunshine to produce a thunderstorm. I don't think there's any mountains in Encinitas or in LA Jolla or in Mira Mesa. And there certainly wasn't any sunshine at eight o'clock yesterday evening. So what's [inaudible] is that we have weather disturbances that are interacting with this moisture and instability, getting this spectacular light show.
Speaker 1: (03:31)
And are these storms movie who that are moving in from the south? Are they disrupting our usual weather pattern? Our fall Santa Ana weather pattern?
Speaker 2: (03:40)
I would say, they're not disrupting it. Um, you know, we are starting a new water year now, so this is perfect timing for that. And we're in the heart of just entering the heart of Santa Ana season, October and November. So all this rain is overall very beneficial to fire weather, not really the water supply, but the fire weather. And I think these type of storms will be independent of what ends up happening this upcoming winter.
Speaker 1: (04:09)
So you don't see this anticipating a wet winter for us.
Speaker 2: (04:14)
Well, that's a great question. Something I was thinking about today and yesterday, so not full scientific proof, but we have looked at years like October, 2016, October, 2018. And why am I talking about those two days? Those two months had just the same type of weather, widespread shower, thunderstorms, wedding rain over all of Southern California. And not only did it dip in the fire season or, or minimize it that fall where it wasn't as severe, it also ended up being a really wet winter. So we're not quite sure if there's a correlation, there may be, but we can't quite say scientifically, just because we saw two recent years with very similar conditions, this coming year, we're going into LA anemia. That typically means drier than average. So we don't know if there's enough information to override that.
Speaker 1: (05:07)
Now we're expecting another storm either later this week or Monday. Uh, any idea how that will compare to last night store?
Speaker 2: (05:16)
Yes, we are in a little bit of pattern of wet weather considering it's October. It's quite unusual. The storm system coming in Thursday night and Friday is much different. Uh, the moisture is coming from the south, but it's not as energetic. We, we won't see the instability and the amount of energy that produced all that lightning and heavy rain. So the storm on Friday starting probably Thursday night, we're expecting rain, but overall it should be light. Then you mentioned early next week, there isn't another storm coming down from the north this time that could bring a showers for sure, early next week, a little far away from now. Uh, so it's uncertain, but early next week could be another storm. Uh, that brings us some showers, but coming from the north. So it'll be cooler.
Speaker 1: (06:03)
I've been speaking with national weather service, meteorologist Alex tardy, Alex. Thank you
Speaker 2: (06:08)
So much. Thank you again.
Thousands of San Diego Gas and Electric customers experienced a power outage Tuesday morning following a Monday night thunderstorm that affected three counties.
Power outages were reported across the county, with the most affected residents in Old Town/Hillcrest area as of 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to San Diego Gas and Electric. More than 1,300 customers were without power in the Old Town/Mission Hills/Hillcrest area due to weather damage. SDG&E anticipated power would be back on in these areas by 3 p.m. today.
Customers began reporting power outages Monday night after a thunderstorm swept over the county. The utility company reported 2,500 customers in San Diego and 4,200 customers in Oceanside without power. Both of these areas were expected to have power restored by 1 a.m. today. However, some customers were still without power and it was not expected to be restored until later today.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 2,000 lightning strikes were detected between San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties during the thunderstorm that started on Monday evening.