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Strong thunderstorms, lightning reported across Southern California

September 30, 2010 | 10:10 pm

Powerful thunderstorms and lightning strikes were reported from Santa Barbara to Riverside counties Thursday night as subtropical air continued to push across the region.

Some of the storm cells brought rainfall rates as high as 0.42 inches in seven minutes in areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the National Weather Service said.

The agency said the storm cells were moving quickly, limiting the potential for flash flooding. Lightning, thunder and rain were also reported in eastern Los Angeles County, the weather service said.

The moist air was being brought to the area by a low-pressure system. Temperatures on Thursday ranged from the low 70s along the coast to the upper 90s in valleys and inland areas.

The weather service said temperatures could be a few degrees cooler Friday but that thunderstorms and lightning were expected to last at least through Saturday.

-- Robert J. Lopez