CORTE MADERA, Cali. - The Bay Area's first blast of winter weather on Tuesday was a storm worth waiting for offering rain, wind, thunderstorms, and Sierra snow.
"It came pretty quick, sunny in the morning, and then all of a sudden, here we go," said Jim Shroyer of Novato, shopping in Corte Madera with his family.
Teenage son Luke was shivering a bit in shorts.
"This was just a bad choice of clothing," said Luke, with a laugh.
Despite the showers and nighttime chill, the family welcomes the seasonal change.
"We had a nice Indian summer and now it's winter again," said mom Toni Shroyer. "I love it because it cleans everything out, makes it pretty and fresh, I love the rain!"
In the North Bay, the skies opened up started opening by early afternoon, setting the stage for a wild and watery evening commute...
"The biggest concern is people slowing down, with this first big rain, the roads are extra slick," said CHP Officer Anthony Keeton.
With the wet weather and so many additional drivers on the highways the next few days, CHP urges motorists to be patient and avoid tailgating.
"With the rain and the extra oil on the ground, we want people to back off, give each other room, and be kind to each other because it's tough right now."
And the inaugural storm of the season always means the end of the road for worn wipers.
"I've got new windshield wipers because mine are worn out," said Lourdes Gonzalez of San Rafael, clutching new wiper blade outside an auto parts store downtown. "They're horrible, just horrible, I can barely see, so it's definitely time for new ones."
Supermarkets remained busy in spite of the downpour, with holiday fixings being loaded into wet shopping carts.
"The rain is nice because it makes me feel safer about fires and everything," said shopper Sarah Marshall of Fairfax, with toddler son Kyle in her arms.
As a mom of five, Marshall knew United Market would be crowded Wednesday, so she bundled up to finish her Thanksgiving shopping.
"I like having rain but I don't enjoy dressing up the kids, getting everybody out of the house, it's an extra chore for sure."
Store staff said customers have been abuzz with turkey talk, and the dramatic shift in weather.
"It was a shocker, everybody walked outside and went whoa," said Price Starnes, head clerk at United's San Rafael store. "But hey, what's a little rain going to do? It's not going to hurt anybody. We've been through fires so what can rain do?"
The rain- coinciding with high tides- will close the Manzanita Park and Ride lot in Mill Valley until Dec. 2.
Drivers risk more than citations, because cars have flooded at that location in the past.