beach lightning
A great lightning capture from Kyle Goff as the thunderstorms raced (50-60 mph) onshore Wednesday morning. Photo via @NWSSanDiego X

An autumn storm brought showers, cool temperatures, flashes of lightning and rumbling thunder to the San Diego area Wednesday.

The unsettled atmospheric system out of the southwest moved over the county through the morning, by midday delivering up to one-third of an inch of moisture to local communities, according to the National Weather Service.

The bands of dark clouds were expected to bring periods of rain and electrical-storm activity to the region through early Thursday, dropping a quarter- to a half-inch of moisture along the coast and in the valleys, one-half to one inch in the mountains, and less than a tenth of an inch in the deserts, the NWS advised.

A second round of showers, more widespread than the first, is expected from Friday evening into the weekend, forecasters reported. Those cloudbursts will generate precipitation totals of 0.25 to 0.5 of an inch in coastal and inland-valley communities, 0.5 to 0.75 of an inch in the mountains, and up to 0.2 of an inch in the local deserts.

Saturday will be the coolest day of the week, with highs five to 10 degrees below normal for the mountains westward, and one to three degrees under typical seasonal levels in the deserts, meteorologists said.

As of 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, rainfall totals were 0.71 of an inch in San Onofre, 0.58 in Carlsbad, 0.5 in Oceanside, 0.38 in Bonsall, 0.32 in Encinitas, 0.3 in Ramona, 0.25 in Chula Vista, 0.23 at Palomar Observatory, 0.14 in Alpine, 0.13 in Escondido, 0.11 in Poway, 0.1 in National City, 0.07 in Borrego Springs, 0.05 in Mission Valley, 0.03 in Point Loma and 0.02 at San Diego International Airport.

Winds along the coast reached 40 mph, and the highest recorded wind speed in the county was 55 mph at El Cajon Mountain.

The inclement conditions also included lightning across the region — including in the Lakeside area, where the Barona Fire Department reported that a bolt of electricity out of the sky struck a power pole, setting a transformer and a patch of vegetation ablaze off Mapleview Street.

The storm was expected to dissipate toward the end of the weekend, after which the region will experience a quick transition to warm and dry weather early next week, accompanied by a several-day period of Santa Ana winds.

Updated at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2023

City News Service contributed to this article.