SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – The National weather service has issued 15 warnings and advisories for the Bay Area, more than a day ahead of a powerful storefront expected to dump heavy rain on the region.

KPIX 5’s Roberta Gonzales reports that computer models are in agreement and that this major storm is as close as you get to a sure thing.

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“I have not been referring to this as a “monster” storm, rather a “powerful” storm,” said Gonzales. “The difference is, this isn’t anything bigger than last week, except stronger winds. However, the ground is already saturated, so it is more than likely we will see bigger widespread problems around the Bay Area.”

Sustained winds at or near hurricane strength in the highest elevations with gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour across the Sierra summit are forecast for Thursday, with Bay Area winds easily gusting past 50 miles per hour in urban areas and 70-80 miles per hour in the local mountains and hills in what could be the storm of the decade.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings and advisories including a Flash Flood Watch, Gale Warning, Hazardous Seas Advisory, and High Wind Watch.

“The advisories and watches are usually issued issued 24 hours in advance, but with the certainty that this storm will have an impact on the Bay Area, the National Weather Service issues the advisories and watches earlier,” said Gonzales. “A Watch is issued with the risk of hazardous weather…but it’s occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set up plans have ample time to do so.”

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Rainfall amounts of over half an inch per hour are forecast, and if the storm slows, it could reach one inch per hour, causing serious flooding in the Bay Area. The worst case scenario for the region is that the storm stalls out above us and dumps most of it’s rainfall on us all at once.

Rain will first fall in the far reaches of Northern Sonoma County around 4 p.m. Wednesday and slowly slide south towards San Francisco. By Thursday morning’s commute, most (but not all )of  the Bay Area will be experiencing increasing rain and wind. By lunch time, a line of heavy rain, gusty winds and a chance of thunderstorms will be draped across the Bay, stretching in a well defined line from the Delta through Hayward, Redwood City and out over the ocean.

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“If the storm stalls, more rain falls all at once. Dangerous flooding could take place,” said Gonzales.

On Thursday and Friday as the Weather deteriorates across the Bay Area, more Advisories, Watches and Warnings will be issued.

Waves approaching 30 feet are predicted for surf breaks like Mavericks, and ocean swells will build to at least 20 feet by Wednesday, triggering the Small Craft Advisories and Hazardous Seas alerts. STORY: Wave Height Dangerously Growing That link also includes details on high tides, where the seas will rise to meet the inundated rivers, creating even more flooding in low-lying areas like Sausalito and along the coast.


There will always be someone who says, “that storm wasn’t has bad as you guys forecast!” Even with this storm, that may turn out to be the case. We are simply trying to make information on the potential dangers readily available.

“It’s important to be informed and make wise choices based on the information on hand,” said Gonzales. “There is no doubt in my mind that someone will leave an inflatable Santa on their lawn, and the poor guy will lend up in another county.”


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