California Experienced 7,863 Lightning Strikes Over the Past Two Days

A wild weekend of weather dominated the conversation in Northern California, with a record heatwave sweeping through the area along with booming thunder, lightning strikes and a “firenado.” As the photos of the incredible strikes of lightning have begun to surface online, so have the numbers from the rare storm, including nearly 8,000 lightning strikes over a 48-hour span.

The Bureau of Land Management released its maps of lightning strikes throughout the state showing an intense 2-day stretch of 7,863 bolts. Over the 24 hour stretch on Saturday, the strikes were mostly concentrated along the coast, hitting the Bay Area hard on Saturday night:

On Sunday, the thunderstorms moved inland, hitting the Bay Area, Sacramento, Napa and Redding, along with the Eastern Sierra:

The final count was 4,808 strikes on Saturday and 3,055 on Sunday. Photographers throughout Northern California were able to capture some rare photos of the lightning. Here are a few of the best:

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Mother Nature makes a special appearance in this mornings lightning storm ❤️ Do you see her? ohhh what a night…err morning… woke up at 3 AM because it was just too dang hot to sleep… got up to quickly check the webcams to see if the fog was coming in (per usual) haha and what i saw blew my mind.. it was a still image of a lightning bolt over San Francisco 😮 so in a matter of two minutes I have my clothes on…my camera gear packed.. and was out the door racing to find a spot.. was a good two hours of chasing lightning bolts all around the East Bay until I finally decided this was a shot I was going to make happen. I just wanted to wait till blue hour..so just after 6am I finally hit it with this one exposure, no compositing here. I admit at the time I thought this burst of lightning was going to hit me!! it was crazy. anyway I wanted to come home and go to sleep and still do but honestly I am too jacked up from all the lightning bolts I witnessed this morning 😅 enjoy and thanks for taking a look 😉

A post shared by Vincent James (@vincentjamesphotography) on

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