This year's La Niña fall/winter is proving a fair bit wetter than last year's, which is terrific news. And a pair of weather systems will be dampening the Bay Area in the coming days.

The first scattered rains will arrive in the North Bay this afternoon, and a quickly moving system will bring some drizzle and drops across the region by late afternoon and early evening Monday. The National Weather Service says we're likely looking at a tenth to a quarter of an inch in most places, and this one will move through fast.

It will also be breezy through Tuesday morning, as meteorologist Sean Miller tells Bay Area News Group, with gusts at higher elevations of up to 30 miles per hour.

A system coming through on Thursday, though, will bring more rain and be generally more significant.

"It’s going to be more of a robust cold front and we’re going to see temperatures behind the front as it passes start to drop," says NWS meteorologist David King, speaking to Bay Area News Group. "It’ll start giving snow levels in higher elevations above 1,000 feet."

This is all good news after the long-range forecast just three days ago wasn't predicting any rain until the latter half of the month.

Miller also says that there's a possibility of more rain coming next Monday as well.

Generally, we can expect seasonally typical, chilly temperatures this week, after that late-wave Indian Summer we had last week, with lows at night dipping into the 40s — and the valleys even seeing 30s.

This is all a contrast from last year's La Niña pattern, which featured a notably dry December, and very little early-season rain as well. The bomb cyclone that drenched us the week before Halloween was not enough to end the drought, but it was something. And the fact that small bouts of rain have continued in November and December is a good thing — as King tells Bay Area News Group, "there’s no such thing as rain in California that isn’t beneficial."

The La Niña pattern is less predictable in its impacts for our region as it is for the Pacific Northwest (rainier) and the Southwest (drier). But this season so far is off to a promising start.

Photo: Edgar Chaparro