A Storm Series May Bring Substantial Rain to the North Bay Starting on Sunday

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Several factors are forecast to come into alignment over the next several days to bring Northern California and the North Bay copious amounts of rain next week.

Model agreement is growing that the pattern change will take place. The main question remains how much rain will fall in Sonoma County and the North Bay? And, how will this impact the region’s burn scars?

The satellite view of the North Pacific shows the pattern change underway, with a series of storms lining up across the ocean. (Image 1)

On Wednesday we will be brushed by a weak system passing to our north. We may get a few showers. But by late in the weekend, changes will be underway. Among the most important will be a strong zonal (straight line) jet stream stretching from Japan to the West Coast. (Image 2)

Areas of stronger winds (jet streaks) will be embedded in the stream and will act to enhance and drive systems toward Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. (Image 3)

The energetic jet stream will help to guide the storm track, forcing blocking high pressure ridges to the south and allowing a train of storms to ride it toward the West Coast. (Image 4)

We expect a fairly strong storm to arrive on Sunday (Image 5)

And another late Monday into Tuesday. (Image 6)

And another may arrive on Wednesday. (Image 7)

And another sometime Thursday, lasting into Friday. (Image 8)

The series of storms is expected to blast the Pacific Northwest and Northern California with lots of rain. (Image 9A, 9B)

The Canadian Model shows up to 5 inches of rain for Sonoma County, and more in the hills. (Image 10)

And, the storms may continue further into January. After a short break, most models show storms returning later in January, with a good possibility of above normal rain and snow. (Image 11)

We’re happy for the rain, but these storms do have the potential to produce high rain rates that could cause debris flows in fire scarred areas of the region, especially on steep slopes. It is far to early to predict exact timing.

The National Weather Service may issue warnings depending on the strength of the storms as they arrive. And News of the North Bay will keep you up to date on new developments as the expected storms begin to arrive this weekend.

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