Bay Area storm timeline: When the heaviest rains will hit

Since Christmas, the Bay Area and beyond has been hit with rain. And on Wednesday, there will be a lot more.

In fact, meteorologists say that Northern California will be socked with a winter storm system over the next 10 days, except for a brief break on Friday.

National Weather Service Brian Garcia offered this general timeline of the rain system: Wednesday morning will see light to steady rain with a high wind warning. 

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Late Wednesday morning to early afternoon should have a brief lull or break. 

Then again about 3 p.m. Wednesday, there will be another round of heavy rain lasting through the evening commute. The winds will also be pretty fierce.

"If you're at work, I'd suggest going home at lunch and then telecommuting for the rest of the day," Garcia said.

The times are also flexible based on where you live, Garcia said.

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If you live in the North Bay, the heaviest rains may hit about 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. In the South Bay, the eye of the storm may strike about 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The storms will taper off by about 9 p.m. to midnight, Garcia said, adding the caveat that within this "calm" time, there might also be strong hit-and-miss downpours in localized areas. It might even hail, he said.

Thursday will also be rainy until about 4 p.m. with lingering showers all day, Garcia said. 

Friday will see sun.

The rain will return on Saturday and last through the weekend and into next week.  

All this rain, and snow up in the Sierra, may make for hazardous travel and flooding, but it's great news for California's snowpack. 

On Tuesday, the Department of Water Resources said statewide, the snowpack is 174 percent of average for this date. 

Officials noted this was a great number, but this above-average percentage was also seen last year and also in 2013. But after the first Jan. 1 snowpack reading, dry weather set in, leading to drought conditions by the end of the water year in the fall. 

Snowpack surveyors said the Golden State needs this continuous rain to finally ease itself out of the drought.