Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 5:54 pm | Partly Cloudy 54º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Line of Intense Thunderstorms Hammers Goleta, Isla Vista

Lightning strikes lead to tree fires, power outages; scattered showers expected through Thursday

A rain gutter overflows at a western Goleta house Wednesday evening as a narrow band of thunderstorms hammered the area.
A rain gutter overflows at a western Goleta house Wednesday evening as a narrow band of thunderstorms hammered the area. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

A narrow band of intense thunderstorms moved through western Goleta on Wednesday evening, punctuated by loud thunder and brief but intense downpours.

Lightning strikes on power poles and trees, and power outages were reported at numerous locations throughout Goleta, according to emergency radio traffic.

Hail peppered the Storke Ranch neighborhood off Storke Road near Camino Real Marketplace.

The line of thunderstorms gradually moved east. Although thunder could be heard over Santa Barbara and Montecito, only scattered sprinkles were reported.

Some 700 customers were without power in western Goleta and Isla Vista, according to the Southern California Edison Co. outage map.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews responded at 6 p.m. to a report of a palm tree on fire in the 300 block of Mathilda Drive in Goleta, near an apartment complex in the Ellwood neighborhood.

An upper-level low-pressure system was creating instability, and was expected to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms, according to meteorologist Joe Sirard with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Lightning struck a palm tree on Mathilda Drive in Ellwood on Wednesday, sending sparkings showering toward nearby apartment buildings. Click to view larger
Lightning struck a palm tree on Mathilda Drive in Ellwood on Wednesday, sending sparkings showering toward nearby apartment buildings. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Thunderstorms were seen in the Santa Barbara County mountains and interior San Luis Obispo County earlier Wednesday, with some locally heavy downpours reported.

“Right now it’s concentrated more on the South Coast,”​ Sirard said Wednesday night.

Rainfall amounts could range from hardly anything to a half-inch before the system moves out of the area, he said.

“It’s going to be meandering over the area for a couple of days,” Sirard added.

Around the Central Coast, residents excitedly reported sounds of thunder and sightings of rain or lightning on social media.

At least one Goleta family was searching for a missing pet Thursday night, however. The dog, a white terrier mix named Ruby, apparently was spooked by the thunder and ran off from Salisbury Avenue, near the northbound Highway 101 exit at Winchester Canyon Road.

More unsettled weather could be in store for Thursday.

“We’re going to have hit and miss showers and thunderstorms through Thursday evening,” Sirard said.

During the day Wednesday, firefighters on the northeastern edge of the county were busy responding to fires sparked by lightning, including one estimated at a tenth of an acre and involving county Fire Station 41 in New Cuyama.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

» Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

» Click here for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Connect with the OES on Facebook.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

(Zack Warburg / Noozhawk video)

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >