Thunder, Rain, Lightning Hit Bay Area

Weird weather pattern is expected to stick around through Thursday.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012  |  Updated 6:24 PM PDT
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A rare blast of tropical moisture from what was once

A rare blast of tropical moisture from what was once "Hurricane John" pushed over the Bay Area to bring rain, lightning & even hail. Details on how long this lingers and what you can expect Thursday in my full forecast.

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The Bay Area got a taste of what it's like to live in the Midwest Wednesday with a sightings of thunder, lightning and rain.
 
Our NBC Bay Area weather department said there were 60 lightning strikes Wednesday morning in the greater Bay area.

There was also at least one report of hail in Morgan Hill.

The reason for the weird weather is a low pressure system along the coast that is bringing subtropical moisture. That's why you may be feeling another Midwest novelty: humidity.

Although there is some rain in the forecast, because of the lightning and the lack of rain this summer, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning that will be in effect until Thursday morning.

Cal Fire increased staffing due to the lightning forecast for both Wednesday and Thursday. Cal Fire said dry lightning sparked over a dozen fires over the Sierra and northeastern California Wednesday afternoon.

"This year we have seen a significant increase in lightning-sparked fires in California," said Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott. "With the already tinder-dry conditions, this lightning storm system has elevated the fire danger even higher for this week."

NBC Bay Area anchor Brent Cannon came across some heavy rain on his commute to work Wednesday. He took the video (see below) of a substantial rainfall on northbound 101 heading into San Jose.

NBC Bay Area meteorologist Jeff Ranieri said the weather system that sparked the rain and lightning on Wednesday will hang around through Thursday.

The good news is that it should clear out for a nice and sunny weekend.

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