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The Flash Flood Watch for the mountains and deserts was in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday and another watch was expected Sunday for the afternoon and early evening hours as the warm and humid conditions continue through the weekend.
The National Weather Service predicted a good chance of more heavy rain and thunderstorms for Saturday and Sunday in the mountains and deserts with more rain, hail, lightning, and flood-inducing downpours possible. The chance of mountain and desert thunderstorms was expected to continue through at least Tuesday.
Temperatures were expected to begin moderating with highs in the inland valleys expected to drop into the 80's with coastal highs in the 70's by Monday.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday a bolt of lightning set brush ablaze off Montezuma Valley Road, near the rural Ranchita area. In an ironic turn of events, a responding fire engine wound up stuck in mud along with other vehicles on county Highway S2 as rainfall extinguished the blaze, which had blackened about an acre. "It was out before we got there," Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler said.
The California Highway Patrol closed the washed-out route to traffic.
The weather service warned that downpours, winds in excess of 60 mph and dangerous lightning strikes were possible in areas including Campo, Pine Valley, Mount Laguna, Warner Springs, Santa Ysabel, Borrego Springs and other areas along Interstate 8, and state Routes 78 and 79.
The federal agency advised the public to stay indoors during electrical storms and urged motorists to avoid driving over inundated roads and bridges, even if the routes appear to be safe. Most flood-related deaths occur in automobiles, according to the NWS.
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