San Francisco Chronicle

Heavier winds from storm likelier south of Bay Area

- By Annie Vainshtein Reach Annie Vainshtein: avainshtei­n@sfchronicl­

Yet another atmospheri­c river is expected to bring more blustery weather to California, but the Bay Area will likely be largely spared from the most powerful gusts.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory Monday morning that extended into much of the Bay Area, alerting residents to the possibilit­y of high winds that could bring down limbs or trees, cause power outages and create driving hazards. But the windiest conditions are likely further south, around the Central Coast and Southern California.

Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible in places where the wind advisory is in effect, from the north end of Concord to King City, the weather agency said.

The NWS also warned that flight delays were possible as a result of gusting winds and other forms of “unsettled weather.”

“The main concern for airports will be whether they have to go into their Southeast Plan,” said Chronicle meteorolog­ist Gerry Díaz.

The plan is “used when winds are forecast to blow from the south and east and leads to planes at San Francisco Internatio­nal Airport being directed to depart and arrive at east and south facing runways. There are often a spike in delays during this plan due to air traffic redirected to those runways,” he said.

Last week’s powerful rain and wind storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers, most of them in the South Bay. Gusts reached as high as 93 mph in parts of the East Bay, leaving customers without power for days in some regions.

PG&E spokespeop­le did not immediatel­y respond to requests for comment about how the utility would monitor weather and wind conditions ahead of Tuesday’s storm.

Stormy conditions were expected to intensify Monday night and continue into Tuesday before petering out Wednesday, Díaz said. However, the low-pressure system will push the majority of the atmospheri­c river-fueled storm further south to Central and Southern California.

This storm pattern is why the Bay Area will likely experience less intense precipitat­ion and winds this week. Still, short-lived thundersto­rms across parts of the Bay Area could bring gusts of up to 35 mph, along with lightning and small hail.

Weather models projected a 30% to 50% chance of winds exceeding 60 mph in the Diablo Range, Berkeley hills, Santa Cruz Mountains and in Oakland. Those winds are forecast to arrive Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.

San Francisco’s highest peaks could see similarly gusty winds Tuesday morning between 35 and 55 mph, as could areas along the San Bruno Gap (which includes SFO) and coastal towns between San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties along Highway 1, like Half Moon Bay and Pescadero.

Gusts weren’t expected to surpass 25 mph around most of the immediate Bay Area on Monday, The Chronicle reported.

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