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SoCal weather: Flash flood watches; lightning closes Long Beach

File: Lightning strikes on Aug. 5, 2005 southwest of Barstow.
David McNew/Getty Images
File: Lightning strikes on Aug. 5, 2005 southwest of Barstow.

Inclement weather, including lightning and rain, has come to Southern California. The Huntington Beach pier and Long Beach beaches were both closed due to lightning in the area on Wednesday afternoon.

Newport Beach's beaches and Huntington State Beach remain open but under a precaution, letting people know that lighting may come, Huntington State Beach Lifeguard Capt. Kevin Pearsall told KPCC. Meanwhile, the city of Huntington Beach's beaches are closed.

Flash flood watches have been issued for mountains, deserts and valleys in parts of Southern California including San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, National Weather Service meteorologist Stephen Harrison tells KPCC. The warnings are in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday.

"We are already seeing a lot of thunderstorms develop over the Inland Empire and some of the mountain areas due to the unstable and moist atmosphere that we have in place," Harrison said.

Slow-moving thunderstorms will increase the chances of flash flooding, Harrison said. If a flash flood warning is issued in your area, Harrison advises that you should make sure to move to high ground.

Weather video

"You always want to be aware not to try to cross any flooded roadways, no matter how shallow you might think the water is, because it only takes about 6 inches of water to start moving your car," Harrison said.

Urban areas in Riverside, Ontario and San Bernardino in the Inland Empire tend to flood a lot easier and a lot quicker, Harrison said. As of this afternoon, Riverside had received .39 inches of rain, Oak Glen had 1.06 inches and Red Mountain in Riverside County had .43 inches of rain.

"The worst of the storm has not passed through. Today is going to be very active in terms of thunderstorms activity, and tomorrow will likely be very active as well," Harrison said.

Thunderstorms most often happen during afternoon and early evening hours during these conditions, Harrison said. That's when there's the highest threat of flash flooding.

This story has been updated.