Sunday’s dry spell helped the greater Bay Area briefly recover from a powerful storm on New Year’s weekend, but a Pineapple Express on the way will soak the region mid-week, forecasters said Monday.
Mop-up efforts to bail out flooded basements and clear mudslides from roadways will be paused by the latest atmospheric river, set to arrive late Tuesday, Jan. 3, into early Wednesday.
Soils already saturated by last weekend’s downpours will only intensify the new storm’s impacts, forecasters said.
The latest system could bring a repeat of recent flooding and the National Weather Service is urging residents to prepare for rising creeks, downed trees, mudslides and power outages.
Most areas will see light rain on Monday through the afternoon and evening, setting the stage for the big storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Downpours will be heaviest late Wednesday into early Thursday, Jan. 5, and will be accompanied by strong winds. Scattered showers are expected to linger Thursday into early Friday.
The weather service said totals starting Tuesday night are expected to bring 4.5 to 6.5 inches in the Santa Lucia mountains and the Big Sur coast.
Coastal mountains in the North Bay are forecast for 4.5 to 6.5 inches, and the Santa Cruz Mountains and northern Monterey Bay will see 3.5 to 6 inches.
The interior North Bay is expected to get 2.75 to 5 inches. San Francisco, along with the East Bay and South Bay areas, are forecast for 1.5 to 3 inches.
Southern and Eastern Monterey Bay are expected to see 2 to 3 inches and the Salinas Valley/San Benito County area is due for 1.5 to 3 inches.
During the last storm, San Francisco had its second wettest day on record, when the city received 5.46 inches of rain on Dec. 31, just shy of the all-time record of 5.54 inches of rain set on Nov. 5, 1994, according to Jan Null, certified meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services.
That brought San Francisco’s December total to 11.60 inches, the 15th wettest December on record for the city, which has kept rain records since 1849.
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