Weekend Storm Not as Bad as Expected, But More Rain and Wind to Come
A leaf rests in a puddle in San Francisco's Mission District on Feb. 2, 2019, after a winter storm brought high wind and rains to the region. (Bianca Hernandez/KQED)
A cold front that brought rain and high winds to the Bay Area on Friday and Saturday was not as severe as expected, but another system is expected to bring more winter weather starting Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters on Friday warned of damaging winds, heavy rainfall and possible flooding from the incoming storm, but a flash flood watch and high wind warning for the region were canceled Saturday morning as winds and rains weakened overnight.
High winds and rainfall are expected to return Saturday evening and last into early next week as another series of fronts move in. The National Weather Service on Saturday issued a wind advisory for much of the Bay Area until 10 p.m.
"If you're going out this evening, bring some rain gear, bring an umbrella," said Spencer Tangen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"Your hair might blow around, and you'll probably see some objects on the ground blowing around," Tangen added about expected winds around 20-30 mph in the upcoming storm. "But we're not expecting a lot of widespread damage from the wind."
The highest winds recorded in the Bay Area during the first storm were 67 mph at Lexington Hills and Black Mountain in Santa Clara County. Gusts of more than 60 mph were also recorded in the North Bay and East Bay, and the wind topped out at 51 mph in San Francisco.
Most of the Bay Area received between 1/2 to 1 inch of rain from the storm, with the highest totals in the North Bay and at Big Sur. Oakland received .4 inches of rain, .54 inches fell in San Francisco and .4 inches in San Jose.
There were reports of downed trees and branches on the Monterey Peninsula, and high tide in San Francisco reached 7 1/2 feet, on par with the highest tides recorded this winter.
But meteorologists say the rainfall was mostly beneficial, helping bring the region's rain totals closer to normal for this time of year with only "a few localized flood reports near some low-lying off ramps as well as at the immediate coastline with some coastal flooding," according to the National Weather Service.
Before Friday's storm, San Francisco had received 11.29 inches of rain since October, more than 2 inches below normal for this time of year. "It's not too far off of normal, so that's good," Tangen said. "And these storms that are going to bring all this rain the next couple of days will bring us a lot closer to normal."
Tangen said populated areas in the region should expect to get 1-2 inches of rain between Friday and Tuesday, with up to five to 10 feet of snow expected to accumulate in the mountains.
"All the rain that we're getting down here in the lower elevations will fall as snow in the Sierras," Tangen said. "That's really good. That's what we need as we head into the dry season is a good snowpack."