SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — While San Francisco Bay Area health officials have issued tougher new shelter-in-place restrictions, Mother Nature may also play a role this weekend in stemming surges of visitors to parks, outdoor spaces and local beaches.

Two storm fronts were heading toward the Bay Area from the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

According to meteorologist Ryan Walbrun, the first pulse will arrive Saturday, dumping an estimated quarter- to half-inch of rain in the Bay Area. The second system will then hit throughout the day on Sunday and may drop an inch to 1.5 inches in some parts of the Bay. He estimated that Santa Rosa may see up to 2 inches once the storms pass through.

New shelter in place restrictions went into effect Wednesday for many counties in the Bay Area as the lockdown order has been extended to May 3rd in an effort to reduce the spread and number of new cases of the coronavirus.

“Every unnecessary contact with another person increases the chance that the virus may spread<,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. “The stay-at-home order has caused social and economic hardship for everyone, but if we stay the course, we will save lives.”

Among the new recreational restrictions were:

  • Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited.  These areas must be closed to public use.
  • Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited.  These facilities must be closed for recreational use.
  • Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment must be limited to people in the same household.

All those would be difficult in sunny, warm Spring weather, but that will not be the case this weekend as a strong storm front will bring showers to the Bay Area and several feet of snow in the Sierra.

“Rain/rain showers will likely develop over the North Bay early Saturday morning and then spread southward across the region throughout the day,” National Weather Service weather forecasters warned. “There will potentially be a brief break late Saturday night before another system quickly follows the first bringing widespread rainfall to the region on Sunday.”

The weather service also released an interesting fact from the US Storm Watch twitter feed about the current weather season. Accordoing to the tweet, the South Bay’s Mount Hamilton has received an impressive 28.7” or nearly 2.5’ of snow since October. That is roughly 162% of their average yearly snowfall of 17.7.

The storm will also deliver more snow to Tahoe — too late for skiers after the Tahoe area resorts were shutdown by the coronavirus outbreak, but good news for the water supply.

“(A front will push into the) region Sunday into Monday, swinging farther offshore and bringing heavier snow to the Sierra,” Weather Service forecasters in Reno said. “This storm will cause more disruptions over the Sierra passes Sunday into Monday morning, with over a foot of snow likely above 7000 ft and around 4-8 inches around Lake Tahoe level, Truckee and Portola.”

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