© Instagram / Lacey_bannister
Updated on September 12 at 7:20 a.m.: The National Weather Service reported Tuesday morning that 1,200 cloud-to-ground strikes and 5,800 in-cloud strikes hit the Bay Area Monday night.

"You can see both," says Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. "Both are just as dangerous."

It started with strong wind gusts between 35 and 50 mph that roared through Monterey County and parts of the South Bay in the early morning hours. Later in the day, temperatures climbed to the 90s in San Jose and the high 80s in San Francisco.

Then came the rain, thunder, and lightning. The National Weather Service tweeted out that the Bay Area saw more than 800 lightning strikes and cloud flashes between noon and 5 p.m.


By the time thunderstorms bubbled up over parts of the Bay Area Monday afternoon, some people had had enough.

"Feels more like Mexico than Berkeley!" said Twitter user @leahmichon.


The Palo Alto Fire Department tweeted out an alarming message with multiple exclamation points: "Lightning & thunder passing over @cityofpaloalto right now. When thunder roars, head indoors!!!"

Some people didn't heed the fire department's warning, instead heading outside to take pictures and video of the lightning strikes.

The National Weather Service predicts a 20 to 30 percent chance of thunderstorms overnight into Tuesday morning for San Francisco. Tuesday will be partly cloudy with a high in the mid-70s, before a 20 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms returns at night.

Extended view of the storm: