Batten Down the Hatches!

Powerful Storm Targets Bay Area

KCBS Radio Morning News
February 12, 2019 - 6:03 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- A powerful "atmospheric river" storm is expected to hit the Bay Area Tuesday night. The National Weather Service posted a Flash Flood Watch extending from Sonoma County through Monterey County, effective from 10 PM Tuesday through 10 AM Thursday. Strong winds are expected to accompany the storm.

On Tuesday morning, weather service forecasters said satellite images "show massive plumes of moisture over the Pacific getting ready to take aim at Northern California".  Forecasters warned that the storm, following other recent rainfall, is likely to trigger rapid rises on streams such as the San Lorenzo River and the Russian River.

The expected downpour will be closely watched by people living near Arroyo Creek in Pleasanton, where high water in recent years has triggered erosion. The Army Corps of Engineers has been working on a project to stabilize the creek's banks, including planting new vegetation so root systems can help retain soil.

Forecasters said the storm could bring 8 inches of rain or more to coastal hills from Sonoma County south through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Urban portioins of the Bay Area could receive 1 to 3 inches of rain through Wednesday afternoon.

Another surge of moisture could bring more rain late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. 

Despite recent rainy weather, most Bay Area locations remain below average rainfall for the October 1-September 30 "rainfall year". "This is a normal winter, it's not a dry winter and it's not a super-soaker--yet," said Alison Bridger, chair of the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University in a KCBS Radio interview.