Much-needed Bay Area rain forecast for Sunday

Standing next to roughly 100 elephant seal pups at the Marine Mammal Center for Earth Day, meteorologist Mark Tamayo said the next significant rainfall is expected on Sunday. 

And it will be "more than just a few sprinkles," he said, "there could be moderate to heavy downpours."

In some areas, there could be up to as much as 3/4 of an inch of precipitation.

There is also a chance of showers on Monday, too. 

Any type of rain would be a boon for the state.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency in two Northern California counties where grape growers and wineries are major users, an order that came in response to arid conditions affecting much of the state and the U.S. West.

The declaration is targeted to Mendocino and Sonoma counties, where drought conditions are especially bad, rather than statewide, as some officials and farmers in the agricultural-rich Central Valley had hoped. 

California, which is now in its second year of drought, is bracing for another devastating wildfire season after a winter with little precipitation.

Beyond the drought declaration in the two counties, Newsom’s executive order allows California to prepare for expected effects of the water shortage statewide more quickly.

Though Newsom did not declare a statewide drought emergency, the State Water Resources Control Board in March sent early warnings to 40,000 water rights holders urging them to start conserving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.