Wet and Wild for North Bay

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Get ready for a wet and rainy period over the next five days.

In fact forecast models are now in agreement on at least three distinct storms that are headed our way, each with the potential to drop moderate to heavy rain.  Here is the latest forecast loop from the Global Forecast System model.  Most others look very similar.

You can see the first storm pushing in Saturday and lasting into Sunday.  Then another wet storm moves in late Sunday or early Monday, and another on Wednesday.

How about rainfall?  Estimates right now across the North Bay are 1.5 to 2 inches with the first storm Saturday, perhaps 1 to 2 more inches with the storm on Sunday and Monday, and an inch or more on Wednesday into Thursday.

All in all, a wet, and blustery period with winds increasing with the arrival of each storm.  Here is the estimate of total rain by next Tuesday, and, in the following graphic, by next Thursday.

Of course, the forecast can and will change somewhat as the storms get closer.

One interesting trend is for the Sunday night/Monday storm to tap into warmer air, something like an atmospheric river.  Under these conditions we could see potentially more rain, and the chance of rivers like the Russian and Napa undergoing rapid rises.

Certainly something to watch, especially with another wet system due to arrive on Wednesday and last into Thursday.

If you’re headed for the mountains, perhaps to Tahoe, you’ll probably be OK traveling (check conditions closely with Cal Trans) Friday afternoon, but after that all bets are off, and chain controls and heavy snow will be prevalent throughout the weekend into the coming week.  Here are total snowfall estimates for the Sierra through late next week.


As you can see…good news for skiers and snowboarders, and our water supply.  Many areas can expect more than 2 feet of new snow, and some higher elevations near Tahoe and Lassen will be in the 4 foot range through the period.

The big takeaway:  Get out the umbrella and prepare to drive more slowly as stormy weather will be with us off and on for the week ahead!

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