It's the winter that keeps on giving, wetness-wise. And if you've grown weary with all the rain, we've got some bad news for you with regards to the next week.
More rain and possible thunder and lightning are arriving any minute now, and after these early showers pass Monday afternoon, we can expect more possible rain Monday night (especially on SF's westside), with the only real break in the rain this week coming on Tuesday. Wednesday through Friday should see a series of showers coming our way — and, as the Chronicle reports, possible hail, and more thunder — all of which will "chip away" at a Pacific high-pressure system (known as the Pacific High) that spent at least part of the last month funneling Pacific moisture away from California.
Several weather models now forecast a possible new round of atmospheric river action coming our way by Friday, which could mean a very wet weekend ahead, not to mention even more dumpings of snow in the already very snow-covered Sierra.
"By Thursday the weather models begin to suggest different outcomes for what will happen to the Pacific High," the Chronicle's Gerry Diaz writes. "A couple scenarios keep it intact, meaning that only light showers and drizzles will be possible this weekend. But other scenarios suggest a complete collapse of the Pacific High, allowing an atmospheric river to rush toward Northern California."
And as the National Weather Service puts it, "Buckle up, it's going to be quite the weather ride. A few days ago longer range models had pretty low odds for an atmospheric river impacting California, but recent runs have changed dramatically."
It's hard to say how much rain will fall, if the atmospheric river hits, but the weather service says "let's just say several inches of rain will be possible." Waterlogged hillsides will once again face landslide dangers, and we could see flooding in low-lying parts of the city.
The weather service says this system, if it hits, will be tropical in nature and therefore warmer than what we've been seeing recently — and that will also mean higher snow totals in the Sierra.
As we learned from the latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor last week, California still isn't out of the woods vis a vis the multi-year drought we're in. While more than half the state was drought-free as of last week, about half the state was still in moderate to severe drought territory, including parts of far northern and southeastern California.
Experts have said it would take a few more atmospheric rivers to do the trick, and this winter has certainly delivered. Long-range models also have us dealing with rain well into April.
Photo: Craig Whitehead