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Thunderstorms Bring Heavy Rain, Flooding To Inland Empire, Mountain Areas

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Thunderstorms hit the Inland Empire Friday, bringing heavy rain, some flooding, and lightning that ignited at least one palm tree in Palm Springs.

The National Weather Service tracked dozens of lightning strikes Thursday in Riverside and San Diego Counties. Fortunately, they mostly struck the desert slopes of the mountains and did not ignite any wildfires.

Dry lightning is a major concern across the state due to severe drought conditions. The Windy Fire, which is burning in the Sequoia National Forest and is threatening the ancient and iconic trees, was ignited by lightning on Sept. 9. The fire is just 6% contained, and is contributing to the smoke that is blanketing Southern California.

There's a slight chance of thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening across southern mountain areas that could make their way into the eastern San Gabriels and the Antelope Valley, according to the NWS. Forecasters say that isolated dry lightning strikes and erratic winds are also a possibility.

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