Thunder ,Lightning Over SM Bay
October 14, 2021
By David Ganezer, photo by SMPD CSO Edward Burns
10/4 The day grew dark very quickly, and no rain had been predicted by the National Weather Service as late as 2 pm.
Santa Monica was treated to a rare thunder and lightning display on Monday afternoon around the 5 PM hour. Men walking dogs and women with baby strollers scrambled to get out of the sudden rain in my neighborhood.
Southern California is, of course, in a drought situation. Less than 6.5 inches of precipitation have fallen over the region, which receives 14.25 inches of rain in a typical year.
The day grew dark very quickly, and no rain had been predicted by the National Weather Service as late as 2 pm. The rain continued for over an hour after the 4:30 pm start. Thunder and lightning continued well into the evening hours.
The City issued an alert for thunderstorms at 4:30 pm. "Lightning Alert: A thunderstorm with lightning has been reported in #SantaMonica. Please evacuate all ocean and beach/sand areas. If on the beach or on the Santa Monica Pier, seek shelter indoors until the storm has ended. #SMAlert"
The beach was cleared of surfers and evening beachgoers. In 2005, two surfers were struck by lightning on Venice Beach. One man in his 20's died. A second, one Bob Kilroy, survived but was forever changed by the strike.