SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Mother Nature was preparing to hit the San Francisco Bay Area with a potent weekend one-two punch as a pair of Spring storm systems were taking aim at Northern California from the Gulf of Alaska.
By the time the last of the systems rolls eastward on Monday, National Weather Service forecasters said an inch to an 1.5 inches of rain could fall in the San Francisco area and several feet of snow will blanket the Sierra.
“Light rain develops in the North Bay Saturday morning spreading across the Bay Area Saturday afternoon and evening,” weather service forecasters said. “A second system drops down the coast Sunday keeping a steady rain going for much of the day across the region.”
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) April 3, 2020
For homebound Bay Area residents, the best time to get some fresh air will be on Saturday. The heavier showers were forecast to be over the region for much of the day Sunday.
“The second storm system will sweep across the region on Sunday and Sunday night,” forecasters said. “Strong gusty south to southeast winds (gusts 30-45 mph in windier spots) and the heaviest sustained rain rates of the weekends will be associated with the second surface cold front.”
Thundershowers could linger over the Bay Area on Monday as cold, unstable air will follow closely behind the second front.
The real brunt of the storm will be delivered to the Sierra where ski resorts have been shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak and local leaders were telling visitors to stay away.
“Snow will start in the northern Sierra Saturday and may decrease for a bit Saturday night,” forecasters said. “Heavy snow moves into the Sierra Sunday with very difficult travel conditions likely. Travel in the Sierra is discouraged this weekend.”
A winter storm watch goes into effect from Saturday afternoon through Monday morning. Snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are possible except 1 to 2 feet above 7000 feet. Amounts in excess of 2 feet are possible near the Sierra Crest.
Heavy mountain snow returns this weekend, especially on Sunday. Up to 1-3 feet of snow are forecast, locally up to 4 feet.
⚠️ Chain controls & travel delays are very likely with this storm. #cawx pic.twitter.com/mIpJeweEIC
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) April 3, 2020