The Bay Area was greeted by a thunder and lightning show Tuesday morning as a series of storm cells pushed north, bringing along brief downpours.

The rain did little to impact California's bone-dry conditions, according to the National Weather Service, but it did provide a glimpse into Mother Nature's unpredictability. A low-pressure system higher in the atmosphere than usual met up with moisture from the south to create the storm cells, forecaster Steve Anderson said.

The NWS recorded 25 air-to-ground lightning strikes between 4 and 7 a.m., Anderson said, and hundreds more strikes moved from cloud to cloud.

One of those strikes occurred in Oakland near O.co Coliseum, which lost power for less than a minute, after lightning brought down nearby power lines about 4:43 a.m., said PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian.

The outage was not expected to impact the Tuesday evening baseball game between the A's and Houston Astros, A's spokesman Bob Rose said.

The small storm cells were located from San Jose north and moved their way into the North Bay and toward Sacramento, Anderson said.

"It wasn't totally unexpected, but it also wasn't in the forecast three days ago," Anderson said. "What you'll see as these cells move north are some showers, but it's probably going to be hit or miss. You might see some heavy rain at times in some places, but zero rain elsewhere."


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One of the storm cells dumped .08 inches of rain in Half Moon Bay and Twin Peaks in San Francisco, as well as .04 inches in downtown San Francisco, according to the weather service. There were only trace amounts of rain reported in the East Bay.

In addition to the lightning, the cells brought along booming thunderclaps.

"There is a strong temperature inversion (between the hot and cold systems), so the sound below the inversion can't penetrate," Anderson said. "It's similar to a stereo in a loud room. If you're able to open the windows, not so loud."

Anderson said isolated thunderstorms and some smaller rain showers may still fall periodically throughout Tuesday, but that "normal dryness" would be back by Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to get gradually warmer leading to the weekend, when they're expected to be in the 90s, he said.

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