As most of the Bay Area slept, an electric light show ushered in the workweek, with hundreds of lightning strikes reported early Monday, including one blamed for several small fires in Sonoma County

The lightning lit up the night sky throughout Northern California but did not cause any major damage, according to several fire agencies.

CalFire remained on alert later Monday, with extra fire crews on call. Most lightening strikes occurred between 1 and 3 a.m. in Sonoma and Napa counties, National Weather Service forecaster Mark Strudley said.

More than 200 strikes were reported in Sonoma County.

Areas of Contra Costa County also saw heavy lightning activity around 2 a.m., Strudley said. In all, more than 500 lightning strikes were recorded in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa and Contra Costa counties, Strudley said.

The lightning was created when a low-pressure system that took the place of a high-pressure system that had ballooned temperatures into the 100s in certain parts of the Bay Area on Saturday, Strudley said. The low-pressure system picked up some midlevel moisture, and created some thunderstorm activity.

Still, no more than .02 inches of rain was recorded anywhere in the East or South Bay, Strudley said.


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The clouds remained at a low ceiling Monday morning, and caused flights arriving at San Francisco Airport to arrive an average of 97 minutes late, according to an advisory at the airport. They were expected to move out of the Bay Area through Monday, and the number of lightning strikes were expected to be reduced drastically, if lightning is present at all, Strudley said.

Temperatures were expected to hover in the 70s, and possibly the low 80s through the week, he said. Temperatures will be much cooler in the evening, likely in low- to mid-50s, Strudley said.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.