A storm system gliding across Northern California is expected to bring scattered showers to the Bay Area on Sunday and another foot or two of snow to the already-blanketed Lake Tahoe region and the northern Sierra Nevada.
The system — which should linger through Sunday evening — marks the first of two storm fronts forecast to hit Northern California early this week, further saturating soils in communities along the San Francisco Bay while adding to impressive seasonal snowfall totals over the high country. The second storm is expected to arrive late Monday and continue through Wednesday.
“Rain’s going to be the story for at least the beginning part of the work week,” said Dial Hoang, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The first line of storms late Saturday night dropped about a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain over much of the Bay Area, as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The Oakland Museum received .51 inches of rain, while downtown San Francisco recorded .67 inches of new precipitation, according to rain gauges overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mt. Tamalpais received .87 inches of rain.
Look for light to moderate rain to continue across the Bay Area and Central coast through the remainder of the morning. Breezy and gusty winds will also continue. Both wind and rain will diminish Sunday afternoon. #CAwx #BayAreaWX #CArain pic.twitter.com/2dkPq29YEW
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) March 19, 2023
The inland portions of the East Bay, including much of Contra Costa County, generally received .25 to .41 inches of rain. A rain shadow effect from the bordering mountains limited precipitation in the Santa Clara Valley, leaving only .04 inches of rain in San Jose. But more fell over the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains, with rain gauges showing accumulations of .35 to .69 inches.
Another quarter-inch of rain is expected to fall over the coastal parts of the Bay Area on Sunday, while the Santa Clara Valley could see another tenth of an inch of rain, Hoang said. Meanwhile, the East Bay Hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains could receive another half-inch to an inch of rain Sunday.
Sunny skies should grace the Bay Area on Monday ahead of the next weather system forecast to hit the region, which should arrive that night and continue through Wednesday. A half-inch of rain is expected to fall along the coastal parts of the Bay Area, while 1 to 2 inches of rain could fall over the higher elevations.
Those same storm systems are likely to further bury the Sierra Nevada in even more powder — adding to near-historic snowfall levels that have led to numerous structure collapses in recent weeks, even as it’s provided a banner season for ski resorts bordering Lake Tahoe.
Heavy snow over the Sierra above 5,500 feet through Monday morning with 1 to 2 feet possible. Significant travel delays likely, aviod travel if possible. #cawx pic.twitter.com/piqe5ULnx9
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) March 19, 2023
The northern Sierra should receive another 1 to 2 feet of snow through early Monday, according to Cory Mueller, a National Weather Service Meteorologist. Conditions along Interstate 80 over Donner Pass should deteriorate throughout the day Sunday, making travel hazardous.
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Yet another foot of snow could fall late Monday through early Wednesday, Mueller said.
“Winter just isn’t ready to let up around here yet,” Mueller said.