OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - It’s mid-May, and instead of spreading on suntan lotion and sporting shorts, folks in the Bay Area should be preparing for a winter-like storm system that will not only bring rain, but gusty winds, scattered thunderstorms and possible hail, according to the National Weather Service.
The Sierra could even get up to two feet of snow.
That’s because two atmospheric rivers are moving in from the Pacific, and will blanket the region Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon, KTVU’s meteorologist Steve Paulson said. Another system is possible Monday night. Thursday could see some scattered thunderstorms and possible hail.
Already, early Wednesday morning, the weather service reported it was shaping up to be pretty "wet and windy" in Big Sur, and rain was pouring down in Oakland and the North Bay before the sun came up.
Altogether, some parts of the Bay Area could see 3 inches or more for the week. That’s highly unusual.
The historic average rainfall total for San Francisco is .7 of an inch, going back to 1849, the Mercury News reported.
The all-time monthly record, set in 1925, is 4.02 inches for the month of May in San Francisco.
Atmospheric rivers normally occur in the winter months. But every other year or so, they extend into May, Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego, told the Mercury News. Since October, Ralph said that Washington, Oregon and California have received 47 atmospheric river storms, with 12 of them being strong or extreme.