Thousands of lightning strikes made for a spectacular display. According to ground and aerial sensors, there were nearly 15,000 lightning strikes over the Bay Area. You could see them from mountain tops, backyards and even spectators at the Giants game at AT&T Park got to see them.
It was a true light show that moved over the densely populated Bay Area. ABC7 News cameras atop various mountain tops captured the drama of lightning bolts estimated to be 50,000 degrees, which is hot enough to spark fires if they touched the ground.
Certified Consulting Meteorologist Jan Null says the low pressure system that was moving westward across the state continued to light up the skies over the pacific.
"Once this area moved offshore, it had just the right ingredients last night that there were over 2,500 lightning strikes out over the water," Null said.
Null says thunderstorms with lightning of this magnitude are a once a year or every other year phenomenon. But the lightning was more visible to more people because of the timing.
Jason Brickman is a designer at a Campbell advertising firm. He took his camera and captured an image of a lightning bolt over downtown Campbell at 11 p.m.
"I may have taken 10 shots in 20 minutes, you know, long exposures, 30 second to a minute each, and this is the only one with the bolt," Brickman said.
There was hardly a bad place to capture the lightning on a digital camera.
The Bay Area may have another crack at taking in another lightning show on Tuesday night, although Null says it won't be as spectacular as last night.
If you plan on taking photos of the lightning, Brickman offers this tip: "Shoot wide. That's great advice and long exposures. Get over 30 seconds and you'll probably catch the lightning," he said.
The National Weather Service has canceled the Red Flag Warning for the East Bay, interior valleys and Santa Cruz Mountains.