Bay Area could have dry thunderstorms this weekend, but NWS doesn't expect 2020 repeat

The prospect of such storms likely brings to mind last August’s spate of wildfires in Northern California, which were sparked by dry lightning. Last year’s SCU Lightning Complex burned over 396,000 acres, and the CZU Lightning Complex burned over 86,500.
The prospect of such storms likely brings to mind last August’s spate of wildfires in Northern California, which were sparked by dry lightning. Last year’s SCU Lightning Complex burned over 396,000 acres, and the CZU Lightning Complex burned over 86,500. Photo credit Getty Images

The Bay Area could be in for dry thunderstorms and, potentially, dry lightning on Sunday and into Monday.

Monsoonal moisture is expected to rotate in from the southeast over Big Sur and move northeast over the Bay Area, according to the National Weather Service Bay Area.

The prospect of such storms likely brings to mind last August’s spate of wildfires in Northern California, which were sparked by dry lightning. Last year’s SCU Lightning Complex burned over 396,000 acres, and the CZU Lightning Complex burned over 86,500.

Yet the National Weather Service noted in a Twitter thread Thursday afternoon that the expected circumstances are very different from what the Bay Area experienced last year.

Namely, the lack of tropical influences and wetter weather leading into the weekend.

The Bay Area is dealing with worse drought conditions than the region experienced during the August wildfires. Every county is currently in extreme or exceptional drought, compared to the moderate and severe drought conditions the Bay Area experienced in mid-August of last year.

In a follow-up tweet, the National Weather Service Bay Area said high-resolution data released Friday and Saturday should give the agency a better idea of what the region can expect over the weekend.