Thunderstorms expected across Bay Area

Forecasters are predicting thunderstorms for the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay areas Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The chance of thunderstorms will diminish by late Friday morning, according to forecasters. Weather service officials said they expect associated lightning strikes to be the most frequent in Monterey and San Benito counties initially, then spread north.

Forecasters are almost sure that thunderstorms will develop in the Bay Area by late today, but have less confidence about where the thunderstorms will occur.

The thunderstorms will produce little or no rain and consequently increase the risk of wildfires. Isolated downbursts of wind may make fighting existing fires more difficult, forecasters said.

The lightning would also pose risks to campers, hikers and people at outdoor sporting events, weather service officials said.

Weather service officials suggest going to a substantial building with plumbing and electricity or an enclosed vehicle with a metal top when thunder is present.