LOS ANGELES -

New rainfall records have been set in several northern and central California cities as a powerful spring storm rolls across the state Friday.

The storm began drenching the San Francisco Bay Area Thursday night, knocking out power and producing 750 lightning strikes through early Friday morning. The San Francisco Chronicle reports one bolt hit a tower of the new Bay Bridge, while another struck an airliner that had left San Francisco for London. The plane returned safely.

As much as 14 inches of new snow was expected in the southern mountains, dropping at elevations as low as 3,500 feet and posing a risk to travel over high mountain passes north and east of Los Angeles.

The fresh snow has brought a brief extension of the ski season at resorts in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains.