A flash thunderstorm brought some much-needed rain to the Southland Sunday, and some unwanted lightning. The storms left a number of people injured on Venice Beach and Catalina Island and sparked several fires.
Update 6:28 p.m.: Venice beach-goer reported dead
The L.A. Coroner has said a 20-year-old who was one of several people injured by lightning at Venice Beach, has died, KTLA reported.
No further information about the victim has been released.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times spoke with a NASA climatologist, who put the odds of getting struck by lightning in the state at one in 7.5 million:
Bill Patzer, a climatologist with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said an intense high-pressure system pulled an unusual mass of hot and moist air from Mexico and the Gulf of California to coastal areas, creating the unstable atmospheric conditions that produced the lightning strikes. Normally, he said, those air masses travel no farther west than the high desert and mountains.
Patzer called the storm a "a sneak attack that took everybody by surprise,” and warned that those same conditions are expected to continue in the area through Wednesday, possibly bringing more thunderstorms with them.
Update 3:51 p.m.: Several injured by lightning in Venice, Catalina Island
At least eight people were injured by lightning on Venice Boardwalk. Officials have said another strike on Catalina Island injured one man and started several fires.
The Associated Press reports:
Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main says eight people were hit Sunday afternoon on Ocean Front Walk in Venice.
At least two of those injured in Venice were in critical condition, ABC7 reported Sunday.
A 57-year-old man was struck on a Catalina Island golf course, and is in stable condition, L.A. County Fire Sgt. Robert Berardi told KPCC. Firefighters on the island scrambled to put out two fires that were touched off by lightning strikes, he said.
"The final assessment is that we had two fires as a result of three lightning strikes on the island," said Berardi. "As of 4:05 p.m., we're resuming normal operations."
The National Weather Service has issued a marine weather advisory, as the storms could produce hail and make for dangerous conditions off-shore.
This story has been updated.