A new set of rainstorms will descend on the Bay Area by the end of this week, setting the stage for consecutive days of wet weather extending until after Christmas. These will be back-to-back storm systems that will dump at least a half inch of rain in San Francisco and as much as two inches in the North Bay mountains, as the Chronicle tells us.

Though there has already been talk about this El Niño season not shaping up to be especially, extraordinarily wet for Northern California — based on a comparison of rainfall totals through November against rainfall during the same period in 1997 — we should probably all refrain from declaring this one a bust until the actual El Niño effects kick into high gear next month.

This latest set of storms stem from the bottom end of a band of subtropical moisture which will also be pummeling the Pacific Northwest in the coming week. And, of course, this is going to mean plenty of snow up in Tahoe as seasonal renters get set to start going up there in the new year.

Saturday promises to be windy and wet with another storm moving in on Sunday, and rain continuing all through the week.

So, you may want to run out and get that shopping done tonight and tomorrow if you want to stay dry while doing it. And I doubt that Astroturf pedestrian plaza down on Stockton Street is going to be a very pretty sight this weekend.