Bay Area to see bursts of rain and sun, snow-battered Sierra

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The alternations of sunshine and light rain that swept through the Bay Area this week will last through the weekend and into next week, meteorologists say.

“We’re getting more,” said Matt Mehle, a National Weather Service meteorologist for the Bay Area. “And it’s good.”

According to the National Weather Service forecast, the unstable weather pattern providing rain after months with almost no rain is expected to continue for the next 10 days.

The welcome rainfall will likely slow the start of the fire season but do nothing to alleviate the drought, Mehle said.

“What it will do is ease our fire season,” he said. “What this rain does is bring in moisture and allow the finer grasses and fuels to grow and green up. This will alleviate fire problems, at least in the short term.

While Friday was sunny, with a few scattered showers in the North Bay in the morning, rains Wednesday and Thursday brought about a quarter to a half inch of rain to most of the Bay Area with peaks in the Bay north like Mount Tamalpais receiving more than 2 1/2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Another storm early Saturday was expected to bring another quarter to half an inch across most of the Bay Area from 1 to 2 inches to the peaks of North Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. The rain was expected to arrive early Saturday – just before sunrise in San Francisco – and continue through late morning before dissipating in the afternoon.

Sunshine was expected on Sunday for the Easter festivities, with the rain break expected to continue through Monday. Rain is expected to return late Monday or early Tuesday, Mehle said.

“It’s not a real big dip,” he said. “We won’t be as wet as in previous storms, but we’ll take whatever we can.”

April showers are not uncommon, but after an unusually dry winter, the sudden onset of fairly regular rainfall is remarkable, Mehle said – “and we are getting more than usual”.

Storms also deliver snow to the Sierra, supplementing snowfall at ski resorts and at the top of peaks. UC Berkeley’s Sierra Snow Lab received 24 inches of snow Wednesday and Thursday, including 15 inches at Palisades Tahoe Station, 9 inches at Northstar and 4 inches at Kirkwood. More snowfall is forecast and weather and transportation officials are warning of dangerous wintry driving conditions Friday night and Saturday.

Although light rain fell on Thursday, the US Drought Monitor released its latest report, rating the Central Valley and much of northern California, including Sonoma County, in extreme drought along with most of the rest of California. state in severe drought.

“We would need a lot more rain to reduce the drought,” Mehle said.

Michael Cabanatuan (he/him) is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @ctuan

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