Lightning, thunderstorms detected in San Diego County as heat remains

SAN DIEGO — Lightning strikes and thunderstorms were detected Sunday in San Diego County, causing a flash flood warning and a water park in Vista to shut down its operations.

FOX 5 Meteorologist Chrissy Russo says 321 cloud to ground lightning strikes were tallied in San Diego County with 17 more over coastal waters. Most of the lightning strikes were in central San Diego County, the National Weather Service said, with storms moving from east to west, even reaching the beach in Encinitas.

In Poway, a lightning strike captured by NWS could be seen striking the hills.

FOX 5 viewers also submitted their photos of the storms impacting the region.

The lightning strikes caused the Wave Water Park in Vista to close due to safety reasons.

“We’re all floating around and they blew whistles because it just started getting dark and said that it was going to be a thunderstorm, flash flood warnings and everybody just got out,” one visitor said. “We were all standing around and they said to take cover because it was going to start raining. They didn’t want us to get hit by lightning.”

A Flash Flood Warning was also issued by NWS around 2:30 p.m. for north central San Diego County until 4:30 p.m.

The NWS says some locations that were in danger of flash flooding of creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses included: Hwy 79 Between Warner Springs And Oak Grove, Hwy 79 Between Oak Grove And Aguanga, S7 – East Grade Rd, Palomar Mountain, Lake Henshaw, Warner Springs, Hwy 79 Between Santa Ysabel And Warner Springs, Aguanga, Oak Grove, La Jolla Indian Reservation and Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.

Another hot day Sunday was forecast for inland San Diego County, and increasing monsoon moisture is expected to create more humid conditions and a chance for showers and thunderstorms each day through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

A heat advisory was issued until 9 p.m. Sunday for San Diego County mountains and valleys and an excessive heat warning was issued until 9 p.m. Sunday for county deserts.

High heat and low relative humidity were expected to create elevated fire weather conditions through Sunday, especially north of San Diego County, forecasters said. The main threat is for plume-dominated fires. Gusty winds along the sea breeze front and near desert passes will also be a concern Sunday afternoon, the NWS said.

High temperatures along the coast Sunday were predicted to be 75-80 degrees and inland 82-87 with overnight lows of 63-68. Highs in the western valleys will be 86-91 and 95-100 near the foothills with lows of 64-71. Mountain highs were expected to be 92-98 with overnight lows of 66-74. Highs in the deserts will be 107-112 with overnight lows of 84-89.

Storms over the lower deserts and mountains were expected Sunday afternoon and there could even be a few stray showers tumbling into the foothills west of the peninsular ranges of San Diego County, forecasters said.

Minimum relative humidity of near 20% will trend upward into Monday due to the monsoon flow.

Cooler weather was forecast to spread farther inland after Sunday, as the marine layer rebuilds with periods of night and morning low clouds and fog.

For Tuesday, flow turns more southerly, and instability aloft was expected to increase over the entire area as another surge of subtropical moisture pushes northward.

Southwest flow should dry San Diego skies later this week, and rebuilding high pressure will bring warming into the Labor Day Weekend, the NWS said.