Here's what to expect with catastrophic storm headed for Bay Area

It's the calm before the storm. The Bay Area is about get hit by another round of heavy rain.

Given the amount received last week, the wet outlook has many concerned. While Monday should see light rain, Wednesday and Thursday will bring strong winds and increased risk of downed trees and power outages.

KTVU's meteorologist Steve Paulson said he's normally conservative with his forecasts, but he is worried about the upcoming days and weeks.

Come the end of the week, rain totals in San Francisco could be over 5.5 inches and San Jose could see over 7.5 inches. 

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"It's almost a scary amount of rain forecasted," Paulson said. "Rain is projected all the way out to mid-January."

The atmospheric river pulls a long and wide plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean, increasing flooding risks along the coast.

Winds will accompany the rain. KTVU models predict gusts will be between 40 and 60 miles an hour. 

The moisture will bring a significant amount of heavy snow to the Sierra, making travel on snow-covered mountain passes difficult.

"It's going to be a long haul in January," said Paulson. "I don't see the pattern changing anytime soon."

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