SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Thursday morning’s wet weather was just a taste of what’s to come, as uncommonly dry weather suddenly transitions to a storm system, with the potential to bring up to 7 inches of rain in some Bay Area communities.

The driest calendar year on record in 2013 was followed by the driest January on record at two percent of normal. This drought rivals the one we experienced in 1975-76.

An “Atmospheric River” – sometimes referred to as a “Pineapple Express” hits the Bay Area starting Friday night and lasting through the weekend. If current forecasts hold, the bulls-eye of heavy rainfall would be right over the Bay Area.

In the North Bay, the range of likely rainfall is three to seven inches. In San Francisco and on the Peninsula, two to four inches may fall. Predictions are for 1.5 to three inches for the East Bay and South Bay. In some spots, more rain will fall this weekend than has fallen in the past seven months.

There will not be much if any creek and stream flooding because rivers are running so low, but this much rainfall always causes urban and street flooding.

The storm should bring significant snowfall to the Sierra above 7,000 feet.

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