Here’s when the rain returns to the SF Bay Area

Under clear blue skies, the San Francisco Bay Area has been bathed in sunshine for the past few days, and these dry conditions are expected to persist through Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening marks the start of another rainstorm that is likely to continue into Wednesday, with a weak cold front and an atmospheric river affecting the coming days. While atmospheric rivers are known to dump heavy rain, the Bay Area may be spared in this upcoming event, with weather models suggesting the system will be focused over Southern California, the National Weather Service said.

The dry weather has been a very welcome break from the rain in the middle of an unusually wet winter. Some clouds moved into the region early Friday but dissipated by late morning. Conditions will remain fair this afternoon, with highs in the 60s — except right near the ocean, where temperatures could stay in the 50s. Saturday afternoon is expected to be even warmer.

“Most of the Bay Area will be in the 60s on Saturday, but we will have several spots in the upper 60s, with a few spots hitting 70 to 71 degrees,” said Brooke Bingaman, a forecaster at the weather service’s Monterey- office.

Light rain is expected late Saturday night into Sunday as a very weak system passes over the Bay Area.

Rainfall totals are forecast to be 0.10 inches or less for interior valleys, 0.10 to 0.25 inches for coastal areas and up to 0.50 in the North Bay and along coastal areas, the weather service said. Afternoon highs are forecast to drop to the upper 50s to lower 60s on Sunday.

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“It looks like as the cold front moves through, our temperatures are going to take a pretty noticeable drop,” Bingaman said over the phone. “It’s going to be a dramatic change from Saturday to Sunday. It could be close to a 10-degree drop. San Jose drops from 61 on Saturday to 71 on Sunday.”

Weather models point to an atmospheric river, which is a storm that pulls moisture from the tropics, to hit California next week. Models disagree on the specifics of this storm, but Bingaman said confidence is growing that it will be focused over Southern California. In the greater Bay Area, Monterey County will most likely see the biggest impacts.

“The Bay Area will still get some rain, but we’re not going to see the brunt of it like they do down south,” Bingaman said. She added that winds could also pick up in the region with this storm, and people should keep an eye out for a wind watch or warning.

“Be aware of the wind,” she said. “As many people know, there are trees down everywhere from the last atmospheric river.”

Dry conditions are expected to return on Wednesday night.

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