Warmer weather on tap for Southern California after weekend of storms
A rainbow glitters in the sky in Westminster, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2019, after a storm battered Northern California during a heat wave that could continue into early November. (AP Photo/Damon Winter)
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — It was a beautiful day, but not for everyone.
For a few, the heat wave that has kept Southern California in a balmy 91-degree heat wave for more than two weeks came to an abrupt end Wednesday with a rain and thunderstorm that fell so hard that the winds ripped the tops off a fire lookout tower. In other areas, rain and strong waves sent surf waves crashing on the beach in Santa Cruz Island and washing over the promenade of the boardwalk in Manhattan Beach.
The temperature in the central and western parts of the state was down to the mid-90s for a few minutes but rose slightly with sunny skies. The sun set at 8:38 p.m. in Los Angeles.
A warm front that had stretched from the Bay Area to Southern California brought a brief respite, but that was short-lived thanks to the rain and wind that hit the region. A gusty wind and shower combined to create a microburst that brought down trees, power lines, power poles and some power lines, and knocked out power to about 500,000 homes.
Los Angeles International Airport had to divert all its flights as a result of the storm: A total of 59 flights were canceled on Tuesday night, and nearly 100 cancelled on Wednesday morning. Thousands of other flights were canceled around the weekend before. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said that outages were mainly in the Santa Clarita Valley, where winds of up to 50 mph had knocked down power lines and trees.
“It was like a whirlwind, a giant monster out there,” said Greg Schulz, who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley. “It just was scary.”
Another microburst hit Southern California earlier this year, but it was much weaker.
Some of that weather could linger into early November as another storm blows through the region, likely accompanied by a wind advisory that will be posted on