Pa­rade of storms to keep Bay Area wet into next week

The fi­nal storm sys­tem may be the wettest of the three, as at­mo­spheric river to slam the re­gion

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mark Gomez [email protected]­yare­anews­group.com

Jan­uary is shap­ing up to be a wet month for North­ern Cal­i­for­nia

he first in a se­ries of three storms head­ing to­ward the Cal­i­for­nia coast is ex­pected to bring wide­spread pre­cip­i­ta­tion to the Bay Area on Fri­day, with rain to­tals rang­ing from one-tenth of an inch to up to 2 inches in the wettest ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional. Weather Ser­vice.

Gusty winds are also ex­pected Fri­day but won’t be as strong as last week­end, ac­cord­ing to Roger Gass, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the weather ser­vice. The winds are fore­cast to be be­tween 15 mph to 25 mph, with gusts up toe 40 mph.

Some in­land lo­ca­tions may re­ceive smaller amounts of rain be­cause of the rain-shadow ef­fect, a con­di­tion in which a moun­tain range or other to­po­graphic bar­rier causes pre­vail­ing winds to lose their mois­ture on the lee­ward side.

The first storm sys­tem, mov­ing east from the Pa­cific Ocean, may split into two sys­tems and im­pact both North­ern and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, ac­cord­ing to the weather ser­vice. In the Bay Area, rain is ex­pected to reach the coastal ar­eas as early as Fri­day morn­ing and then spread in­land, Gass said.

It’s pos­si­ble the south­ern part of the state re­ceives the brunt of the storm.

“Rain­fall to­tals are go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to pin­point,” Gass said.

A one- day dry­ing out pe­riod is ex­pected Satur­day be­fore the sec­ond storm brings an­other round of rain Sun­day. Gass said rain­fall to­tals Sun­day should mir­ror those from the Fri­day sys­tem.

A stronger sys­tem ex­pected to reach the Bay Area in the mid­dle of next week has the po­ten­tial to be­come a mod­er­ate “at­mo­spheric river” storm and be the wettest of

the three storms, ac­cord­ing to the weather ser­vice.

Gass said it’s too early to call the storm an at­mo­spheric river, but did say the sys­tem could “tap into deeper mois­ture over the Pa­cific and spread it in­land.

“Right now our con­fi­dence is low of any type of at­mo­spheric river event,” Gass said.

All of Cal­i­for­nia re­mains in a pre­cip­i­ta­tion deficit for this time of year, though rain­fall to­tals have been im­prov­ing with the re­cent storms. Through Wed­nes­day, San Jose is at 75 per­cent of its his­toric rain­fall av­er­age for this date with 4.49 inches, while San Fran­cisco is at 73 per­cent with 7.46 inches and Oak­land is at 72 per­cent with 6.57 inches.

So far this Jan­uary, rain­fall to­tals in some Bay Area are above their month-to­date his­toric av­er­ages, in- clud­ing Napa 4.08 inches (152 per­cent), San Fran­cisco 1.51 inches (115 per­cent) and San Jose (1.02, 116 per­cent). Other cities are just be­low their month-to- date av­er­ages, in­clud­ing Oak­land (1.54 inches, 85 per­cent) and Moun­tain View (.78 inches, 86 per­cent).

The re­cent storms have also de­liv­ered sev­eral inches of new snow to the Sierra Nevada, boost­ing the statewide snow­pack by about 23 per­cent in a span of seven days. As of Thurs­day, the statewide snow­pack stood at 90 per­cent of the his­toric av­er­age, up from67 per­cent on Jan. 3.

Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reser­voir, was 52 per­cent full Mon­day, or 81 per­cent of its his­toric av­er­age for this date. San Luis Reser­voir, near Los Banos, was 76 per­cent full, or 101 per­cent of its his­toric av­er­age. And Fol­som was 33 per­cent full or 66 per­cent of its av­er­age.

JANE TYSKA — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

A man pulls a shop­ping cart along Ade­line Street in the rain in Oak­land on Wed­nes­day. An­other storm is ex­pected Fri­day.

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