Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Weather & Environment
AI Assisted Icon
Published on March 27, 2024
Bay Area Prepares for Series of Cold Fronts Bringing Rain and Gusty WindsPhoto by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

The Bay Area is bracing for a bout of wet weather as a series of cold fronts look to douse the region with moderate rains and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service's San Francisco forecast office. The first round of precipitation is set to hit today with light rain starting in the North Bay this morning and gradually spreading across the Bay Area into the afternoon.

Rain is expected to intensify by late afternoon as the main rain band pushes in, with "showers last behind the front into mid Thursday," the National Weather Service said. In preparation, the NWS has issued Small Craft Advisories for several coastal and bay areas, detailing that these advisories are to start in the afternoon today and extend into Thursday for certain zones. Areas such as the SF Bay north of the Bay Bridge and Monterey Bay are advised to anticipate gusty winds that could create hazardous conditions for smaller vessels.

Rain rates with the initial system are projected to be light to moderate, leading to varied rainfall totals through Thursday. "The most interior valleys will see a few hundredths, while most areas see a few tenths, and then the higher peaks in the North Bay look to see over an inch," the NWS detailed in their synopsis. A brief respite is expected Thursday evening before a second, more potent front sweeps in with increased rainfall and storm potential.

The second front is poised to deepen the impact with the possibility of "momentum transfer" showcasing a southward shift that may result in higher precipitation for Big Sur and reduced amounts for the North Bay. The agency warned to "expect to see some variability," suggesting that the prediction models are still in flux and updated forecasts are warranted. This system could also generate stronger winds late Friday, although pinpointing the most affected areas remains challenging at this time.

Following the weekend's downpours, a ridge of high pressure is predicted to bring drier conditions into the early part of next week, pushing incoming rain systems farther north toward Washington and Oregon. Meanwhile, local residents can turn to @NWSBayArea on Twitter for concise updates, which confirmed today's return of the rain with a straightforward alert: "Rain Returns today."