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750 Lightning Strikes, Record Rainfall

Castro Valley and San Lorenzo got off relatively easy with only three small power outages.

Bay City News Service

The storm that struck Thursday night triggered more than 700 lightning strikes around the Bay Area and set new records for rainfall.

Thousands around the Bay lost power, but Castro Valley got off relatively easy with three outages affecting fewer than 500 homes around Proctor Road.

The National Weather Service recorded 750 lightning strikes overnight in the area extending from the North Bay to Monterey County, an unusually high number for one storm, according to meteorologist Chris Stumpf. That total includes strikes that occurred off the coast.

Patch blogger Thomas Coates caught some of the flashes in a five minute video posted on YouTube. (It does require some patience to watch).

Several areas saw new records set for rainfall on Thursday, breaking previous records for this date set in 2003, Stumpf said.

Downtown San Francisco received 1.24 inches of rain on Thursday, breaking the previous record for April 12 of 0.92 inches. Downtown Oakland got 1.26 inches, well above the previous record of 0.59 inches. Oakland International Airport got 1.2 inches, shattering the previous record of 0.77 inches.

The storm helped increase rainfall for what has generally been a dry year, but totals still remain well below average for this time of year, Stumpf said.

"I know a lot of places are sitting around 60 percent of normal for this time of year, but we're still nowhere near where we were last year," Stumpf said. "Last year we were either at or above 100 percent for many places."

The worst of the storm has passed, but some light showers could still occur today.

Sunny skies are forecast for most of the weekend.

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