Week ahead: rain, snow, tides, eclipse
In the week to come, you’d best light the fuse and stand back. Days of rain and snow, then king tides and the eclipse of a super wolf-blood moon, are on the way for Northern California.
The biggest storms are forecast to happen late Tuesday through Thursday. Likely breaks Friday and Monday would be best for travel over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
The forecast lines up just right for the Sacramento International Sportsmen’s Expo, which opens a four-day run Thursday at Cal Expo. When it pours outside, people pour inside. Rain: The five-day forecast projects 3 to 8 inches of rain across much of Central and Northern California, with a chance for higher totals in the coastal mountains. Across the greater Bay Area, that will jump-start the region’s waterfalls. As the week started, the gauges at Lagunitas Lake on the flank of Mount Tamalpais in Marin, and at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, each had recorded 20 inches of rain for the season. When the ground is saturated, additional rain presses vertically into aquifers and pumps out water through springs and into the watersheds that feed waterfalls. Snow: At least 2 feet of snow is forecast to fall above 6,000 feet in the Sierra, more above 8,000 feet, pushed by a blizzard forecast to arrive Wednesday afternoon and last into Thursday. In Lake Tahoe, that would mean snow at lake level (6,225 feet) and that all the Tahoe ski areas would be refreshed for the weekend. King tides: Some of the biggest high and low tides of the year will arrive over the holiday weekend. On Sunday at the Golden Gate, a high tide of 7.1 feet at 10:07 a.m. will be followed by a low tide of minus-1.5 feet at 4:59 p.m. High storm runoff combined with a high incoming tide can flood tidelands. Super wolf-blood moon: At 9:12 p.m. Sunday, astronomers forecast the eclipse of a super wolf-blood moon. This means the moon might appear bigger than normal with a reddish tint, and is called a wolf moon as the first full moon of the year. With a total eclipse, it will be the winter’s No. 1 sky event.