Weather

Nearly 40,000 lightning strikes hit the Central Coast last night

Lightning strikes the Santa Barbara Channel on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.
Lightning strikes the Santa Barbara Channel on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

Lightning strikes, thunder and flash flood warnings peppered the Central Coast on Sunday night — and parts of San Luis Obispo County could see more storms Monday.

About 8:30 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported that southwestern California, an area that includes Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties in addition to the Channel Islands, saw nearly 40,000 lightning strikes in the past 24 hours.

The most active time for those strikes, the agency said, was between 7 and 10 p.m. Sunday. In fact, the region saw more than 5,000 lightning bolts at 10 p.m. alone, according to NWS models.

Lightning, thunder and hail hit the Central Coast on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Here's video of the storms and lightning from Orcutt, SLO and Nipomo.

And the National Weather Service reported that there were more than 1,400 in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning strikes along “parts of the Central Coast” on Monday morning, though its model for the Central Coast was northern San Luis Obispo County and Monterey County.

PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said scattered bands of rain showers and thunderstorms would gradually move farther north Monday. Most locations in the county recorded less than a half-inch of rain from Sunday night’s storms, Lindsey said, and the rain should clear up by Tuesday.

“There’s always a chance a stray cell could pop up, but it looks like most of it’s past the Central Coast,” Lindsey said.

He added that a few thunderstorms could develop Monday afternoon through Monday evening, especially in eastern SLO County and in “elevated terrain.”

But it won’t be as bad as Sunday’s storms.

“That was quite the storm,” Lindsey said.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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