SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for areas below the Thomas Fire burn scar and east into Ventura County has expired.
Chief Meteorologist Alan Rose and meteorologist Jason Stiff in the First Alert Weather Center are tracking the storm, and forecast ongoing waves of strong rain, wind, lightning, thunder and occasional hail along both the south and central coasts through the night. Live interactive radar is here.
The waves are passing through quickly, which has limited the amount of rain that has fallen. However, the storm could slow down and dump more rain as the evening progresses.
Power outages are reported across the central coast, from communities in or near Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, the Five Cities, Nipomo and Guadalupe. The PG&E outage map is here. The outage map for Southern California Edison shows spotty power outages near Cathedral Oaks in Goleta, and toward the summit of San Marcos Pass off Highway 154. At least 600 people were affected by outages at one time.
Bursts of lightning not seen in at least a decade lit up the night sky in the early evening hours. Officials at the Santa Barbara County of Emergency Services are urging people to remain inside, and stay away from the rain and potential lightning that could continue through the evening.
The Santa Barbara airport was struck by lightning early Tuesday evening, which briefly knocked out lights on the runway, preventing aircraft from taking off or landing. The lights were restored a short time later. Inbound flights were delayed and ground crews at the airport held passengers inside the terminal during times when lightning made unsafe conditions for passengers entering aircraft.
A United flight from Denver was significantly delayed. The airport website shows that flight has now arrived. A United flight from Santa Barbara to San Francisco that was supposed to depart at 4:30 p.m. showed delayed until 9:32 p.m., and has not been updated since.
Tuesday night's lightning storm packed a punch, moving onshore up and down the coast after 7:00 p.m., leaving at least one palm tree on fire in the Goleta area.
As the system moved across the area, a call went out that a lightning strike had sparked a fire near the Big Brand Tire shop off Hollister Avenue. Another caller from Miramonte Drive reported seeing a bolt of lightning that started a fire up Highway 154.
Power lines were reported down near Mesa Cafe off Cliff Drive by 8:00 p.m. as heavy rain pelted the Santa Barbara area.
Strong cells continue to approach the coast and conditions are considered dangerous on the water in the Santa Barbara channel.
This story was updated with new travel details and expired weather advisories were removed. Further updates will be added as the storm progresses.