Bay Area Thunderstorms and Showers in the Weather Forecast

Unsettled weather will continue across Northern California through the weekend, with mountain thunderstorms possible Thursday and Friday. Thursday is expected to be another warm day for inland areas, with temperatures widely expected to be in the 90s, before temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees are expected on Friday.

Scattered showers and a stray lightning strike are also possible around the Bay Area early Thursday morning, as well as scattered thunderstorms possible along the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Francisco Peninsula Friday afternoon.

Thunderstorm Thursday morning

Some weather models predict scattered rain and thunderstorms in the Gulf region on Thursday morning.


Monsoon moisture from the Desert Southwest continues to rise over central California, sending high clouds toward the Bay Area. This subtropical air is supportive of scattered thunderstorms, meaning heavy rain and lightning strikes are possible Thursday morning.

Although the probability is low, the atmosphere will be more conducive to thunderstorms over the East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula. While the exact timing of the storms is uncertain, the most likely period will be between 6 a.m. and noon.

The unstable atmosphere could also disrupt the marine layer, meaning coastal cities could wake up to fog-free skies. An isolated thunderstorm is also possible over the Diablo Range in the East Bay in the late afternoon.

Coastal convection on Friday

The US weather model forecasts scattered rain across the Gulf region on Friday afternoon.

The US weather model forecasts scattered rain across the Gulf region on Friday afternoon.


An unusually strong low pressure system is expected to strengthen along the Central Coast Thursday night into Friday, increasing the potential for summer rain in the Bay Area on Friday.

Weather models indicate that the lowest pressure will be near Point Conception, meaning some coastal areas will have unstable conditions to support thunderstorms on Friday. Cumulus clouds will likely start appearing over the mountains around lunchtime. By the afternoon and evening, light rain and even stray lightning strikes are possible.

The Marin Headlands, San Francisco, Santa Cruz Mountains and the coastal range in San Mateo County are likely to see thunderstorms, but light rain is possible in the South Bay. While no measurable rain is expected in the East Bay, the impact of rain could be enough to make roads slippery.

Tropical Storm Hillary

The Bay Area is not far from thunderstorms and rain chances after Friday. While Saturday will likely see a lull in active weather, Tropical Storm Hillary is expected to impact California by Sunday and continue into early next week.

As more information becomes available, The Chronicle will continue to provide updates.

Thursday collapse

San Francisco: Outer Sunset and Richmond residents along the Great Highway can hear rumbles of thunder from an isolated thunderstorm off the coast between 6 a.m. and noon. Look for cloudy skies on the west side and partly cloudy skies east of Sutro Tower.

The sunny time of day will be from noon to 4 p.m., and the warm, humid air will allow daytime temperatures to reach the high 60s by the water and 70 degrees downtown. Winds will reach 30 mph around Ocean Beach, Presidio, and Twin Peaks throughout the afternoon.

A combination of marine fog and puffy cumulus clouds can make for a stunning sunset in Dolores Park. Look for foggy conditions tonight with temperatures dropping to the low 60s.

East Bay: Weather models predict the possibility of scattered rain and thunderstorms in the morning hours for residents of the Tri-Valley area. Look for sunny skies and humid weather in the afternoon. Residents in Walnut Creek, Concord and Dublin can expect daytime temperatures in the mid to mid 90s.

The Gulf Breeze will bring partly cloudy skies along the I-80 and I-880 corridors. Residents in Richmond, Oakland and Fremont can expect wind gusts of 20 mph from 1pm to 6pm and afternoon highs in the mid 70s.

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