Thunderstorms, small hail and more rain over SF Bay Area forecast

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A winter Weather report the system began to work its way through the San Francisco bay area over the weekend bringing light rain and cooler temperatures as well as the possibility of small hail and isolated thunderstorms which are expected to affect the region early in the week.

Light precipitation fell over most of the Bay Area on Saturday, National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass told SFGATE. Just a tenth of an inch of rain strewn over the inner East Bay, the North Bay coastline and higher areas like Mount Tamalpais and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Parts of Marin County had up to half an inch. Downtown San Francisco saw lots of drizzle but reported no measurable rain and San Mateo, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara only picked up one to two hundredths of an inch.

But more rain is on the way, and the Bay Area is expected to receive up to an inch and a half of drench over the next three days as cold front moves from the Pacific Northwest to northern California. The Santa Cruz Mountains are expected to see one to three inches of rain, while the East Bay Hills could get one to two inches, Gass said.

“We’ll have a little break before another system produces heavy, widespread rain Monday evening through Tuesday morning, which could wreak havoc on the Tuesday morning commute,” Gass said. “This one seems to be a bit more intense in intensity.”

There is a chance of isolated thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday as well as small sleet-like hail which could pose a hazard if it accumulates on wet roadways.

“There are times when we might see one to two inches build up briefly on the roads,” Gass said. “It eventually melts and becomes less of a problem, but if it spills, lots of small hail can cause accidents.”

He stressed that the NWS did not foresee widespread flooding problems, but that people should drive carefully and allow more time for travel.

Cooler temperatures will arrive on Monday, with daytime highs in the lower to mid 50s and nighttime temperatures dipping to the mid to upper 40s for most of the Bay Area through Wednesday. Temperatures could drop as low as the 30s in inland parts of North Bay, according to the NWS.

A high surf advisory is also in effect as breaking waves of 15 to 20 feet are expected to cause dangerous beach conditions through Tuesday morning. The NWS advised the public to stay clear of coastal rocks and piers and keep a safe distance from the surf area.

Overall though, Gass described the weather system as typical for this time of year in the Bay Area.

“We won’t see anything out of the ordinary and the rainfall will be spread out reducing the risk of flooding,” he said. “Overall it’s going to be beneficial, especially as we remain in a period of drought.”

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