A low-pressure system off the Northern California coast is creating a strong possibility of lightning strikes Monday night, exacerbating wildfire fears particularly in the East Bay. Late Monday and early Tuesday morning lightning is looking possible around the Bay Area, and it's more anticipated in the eastern parts of Contra Costa, Alameda, and Napa counties, as CBS reports.
It seems like this has been a weird year for thunderstorms in the Bay Area, with that major one back in March and at the time we explained why lightning is such a rare sight in our region, which mostly has to do with the fact that it's usually not moist and warm outside in the summer, which it has been this year due to that extended "monsoonal flow." A few weeks ago, on July 21/22, there were 25 lightning strikes in the Bay Area as storms swept through the region.
Several wildfires around the state this season have been sparked by lightning strikes, including one that's grown to 9,500 acres and counting in Mendocino County. And warnings like the ones being issued today strike fear in the hearts of longtime residents of the Oakland and Berkeley hills who remember the major firestorm of 1991, which ultimately destroyed 3,354 single-family homes. It ranks as one of the worst disasters in state history.
Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff makes the prediction more ominous by saying that thunderstorms tend to build together and then "collapse on themselves [creating] erratic winds down ... and if that hits the fire, it will push the fire out."