5 pm – here is SLO lightning tracker. One can see that the lightning is coming across the SLO/Monterey Co line and here on the South Coast. I haven’t heard any, yet, but it definitely looks like rain. It is hard to see the county line here, but it is below the “50″ and right smack through the middle of the northern group of cells.
Here is what RL (real life) looked like at 5 pm. It currently looks as if there might be rain over the ocean:
4 pm cloud build up (this is, of course, looking north, but the ESE is getting dark)
1:00 pm – red flag warning ended at 11am. Here is what NWS said: “…RED FLAG WARNING FOR DRY LIGHTNING NO LONGER IN EFFECT. THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND ARE EXPECTED TO BE WET…”
10:30 am – nothing visible here, and the clouds I woke to are gone. It is clear with a blanket of fog on the coast. However, all around us they are getting pounded with lightning strikes in Kern County and southern San Luis Obispo County as well as the LPNF in Santa Barbara. There are multiple down strikes in each of those three counties and complex fires (multiple strikes grouped together into one fire-fighting effort) are present in each county.
From my SLO weather source: “An upper-level low pressure system is anchored over southern California coast and will be slow to move out of the area resulting in scattered thunderstorms with rain and lightning today through Sunday.
The system has tapped into subtropical moisture and will continue to do so for the next couple days and, as a result, thunderstorms that develop will most likely be accompanied by possible heavy rain.
Since there is no well-defined front associated with this type of system, exact timing of thunderstorms and rain amounts is very difficult to predict. In other words, periods of sunshine or partly cloudy skies may last for extended periods, before bands of thunderstorms rolled through your area.
Note: Thunderstorms may be accompanied by lightning, gusty winds,heavy rain and hail.”
From a fire fighting source, “South Op’s has taken over 20,000 downstrikes in the last 24 hours. Most of the lightning on a line from the AZ border northwest to the SLO area appear to have light to moderate precip; Opal Mt. and White Mt. RAWS stations showed .24 and .27 inches of precip, but the majority of the RAWS stations showed less than .10 or no precip at all. but the storms farther north along the southern to central sierra foothills were light to no precip. Should be an interesting day.
Our fire weather watch continues through tomorrow. I will update later from NWS.