More thunder, lightning expected in Bay Area tonight

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area sustained more than a thousand lightning strikes Monday, and forecasters are expecting more severe weather this afternoon and evening because of a low-pressure system off the coast, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather service officials said on social media this morning that about 1,200 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occurred and nearly 7,000 total flashes were recorded Monday for the entire Bay Area.

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The lightning is thought to have started seven fires in the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit's area of operations, three of which are still burning, according to Fire Capt. Chris Walters.

Statewide, there were 6,700 lightning strikes detected.

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Scattered showers and thunder are expected throughout the Bay Area and Central Coast this evening, with "marginal" risk of severe weather in the South Bay, interior Monterey County and San Benito County.

Area residents can also expect brief but heavy rain, gusty winds and cloud to ground lightning, which could increase the potential for additional fires.

The weather system is expected to push inland, with rain and thunderstorm potential dying down by Wednesday morning.

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