SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — While there will be light showers in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday, the region was bracing for the arrival of a moderate atmospheric river mid-week that could dump 4-7 inches of rain over the wildfire scarred areas, triggering concerns of land and mudslides in Wine County and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The region is currently locked into severe drought conditions so the rain is needed. According the National Weather Service, from Oct 1, 2020-Jan 20, 2021, San Francisco’s rainfall of 3.09″ inches ranked as the 5th driest of all time.READ MORE: Bay Area Health Workers Cheer Newly-Approved 1-Shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
For the same time span, the direst stretch was 1.68 inches in 2014 followed by 2.34 inches in 1918, 2.57″ inches in 1851 and 3.06″ inches in 1981.
“Bright Spot, Rain ahead,” the weather service tweeted. “Good agreement in outlook. By the end of January should easily get out of top ten driest.”
Light rain did fall across the region on Friday and a second weak front will roll through on Sunday into Monday. But forecasters agree that the major event will crashed into the Bay Area beginning late Tuesday.
“A series of Pacific storms is expected to bring periods of moderate to heavy rain to the region through the coming week,” NWS forecasters wrote in their forecast discussion. “The next system on Sunday afternoon and evening will be on the cooler, weaker side and will bring generally beneficial light to moderate rainfall. A much stronger and wetter system due to arrive by late Tuesday will likely produce periods of heavy rain from Tuesday evening through at least Wednesday evening, and possibly through late Thursday.”READ MORE: Antioch Gas Station Shooting Leaves Man Suffering Life-Threatening Injuries
A major concerns is the impact the strong, steady showers could have on the more than 900,000 acres in the San Francisco Bay Area charred by the historic wildfire outbreak in the fall of 2020.
“This system will result in an increased risk of mudslides and debris flow over wildfire burn areas,” the weather service said. “2 to 4 inches of precipitation is forecast for most urban and lower elevation areas from late Tuesday through Thursday, while 4 to 7 inches of rain is projected over higher terrain.”
The weather service said it was still too early to know if the storm will require any flood warnings to be issued.
“The primary message is to be prepared for heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding and debris flows in and near recent burn scars from Tuesday evening through Wednesday and possibly through Thursday night,” the weather service said.
Powerful winds will also whip through the area mid-week. Plunging temperatures could also being a dusting of snow on Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton and other Bay Area peaks.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Rally in San Mateo to Denounce Violence Against Asian Americans
“Strong gusty winds are likely at times, especially on Tuesday night and Wednesday,” NWS forecasters said.