Marin Independent Journal

Late-week deluge in Marin forecast

- By Alex N. Gecan The Bay Area News Group contribute­d to this report.

An “atmospheri­c river” will bring several inches of rain to Marin on Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Wet weather will continue through mid-month, with at least a slight chance of rain in the forecast every day through Sunday and especially heavy rain hitting the county heading into the weekend, according to the agency.

Parts of the county got up to an inch of rain over the weekend, and more still fell Monday. Between midnight and 5 p.m. Monday, 0.11 inches fell on Point Reyes Station, 0.22 inches fell in San Rafael, 0.28 inches fell in Novato and 0.38 inches fell in Kentfield and at the top of Mount Tamalpais and 0.51 inches fell on the Big Rock Ridge, according to the agency.

Several lightning strikes were recorded over the weekend in the area of West Marin and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Mill Valley also got some pea-sized hail. Some more hail was reported Monday evening around southeaste­rn Marin County, the weather service said.

Jeff Lorber, a National Weather Service meteorolog­ist, said snow flurries might have fallen on Mount Tamalpais over the weekend as well, although there were no reports of accumulati­on.

While rain will be sporadic most of the week, Friday is expected to feature a major storm, Lorber said.

“Now to the middle of next week, it's looking pretty wet,” Lorber said. “It's going to be a messy commute on Friday, both morning and afternoon.”

Continuing rain will flood roads and loosen soil which, combined with incoming wind, will increase the risk of trees and power lines tipping over.

The amount of rain is “above average” for this time of year, Lorber said.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. continued to work on power outages Monday around the state but, as of Monday morning, there were no outages in Marin County, according to the utility's outage map. A single weather-related outage was reported Monday evening.

Caltrans was continuing road work on Highway 1 near Tomales Bay after a washout there in February, but no new closures were reported in the county Monday morning.

To the east, more than 2 feet of snow fell over the northern portion of the Sierra Nevada area late Saturday and early Sunday morning, said Johnnie Powell, a National Weather Service meteorolog­ist.

Boreal received 38 inches of snow overnight, while Sugar Bowl and University of California at Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab each received 31 inches of fresh powder. Bear Valley recorded about 16 inches of new snow overnight, while 17 inches of snow fell to the north in Quincy and 15 inches fell at Kirkwood.

The snow continued to snarl traffic in the high country. Interstate 80 is closed from Applegate to the California-Nevada state line. The hazardous conditions also significan­tly limited operations at several Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts. Both Boreal and Sugar Bowl, for example, were closed Sunday after being buried in snow the previous night.

The fresh powder adds to a bountiful snowpack that is nearly twice the state's average for this time of year. As of Friday, the state's snowpack sat at 190% of its average for this time of the year. Even though the northern Sierra has received slightly less snow this season, it still sat at 151% of its average for March 3, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

At least another foot of snow could fall over portions of the Sierra Nevada above 5,000 feet through Wednesday, Powell said. Areas between 3,000 and 5,000 feet in elevation could receive another 6 inches of snow.

“This is copious amounts of snow,” Powell said.

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