Northern California rainstorm could break records and help firefighters

High clouds rolled in across the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday afternoon as an early fall storm headed toward the northern California coast.

“Early Sunday morning, if it hasn’t already, most of the Bay Area will start raining,” said Brooke Bingaman, forecaster for the National Weather Service at the San Francisco Bay Office.

The storm, moving south from the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to and could bring record-breaking rainfall to some parts of the Bay Area some relief for the fire department Fighting Placer County’s mosquito fire – the state’s biggest wildfire this year.

The fire area “is expected to get some rainfall late Sunday or early Monday,” said Scott Row, weather forecaster for the Sacramento National Weather Service. “Most of Northern California is expected to rain.”

The weather system can bring moisture all the way to Santa Barbara. Ventura and Los Angeles remain largely unaffected.

Historical data suggests that it is not uncommon for rain in Northern California in September. More unusual is the amount of rain the storm is expected to bring — as much as double or even quadruple the monthly average in some areas.

For example, current forecasts say downtown San Francisco will receive a total of 1 inch of rain over the next few days. The city’s average monthly rainfall in September is a quarter of an inch.

Rainfall is expected to be heavy on Sunday, but forecasters said the storm will generally be benign and not dangerous. Some minor flooding is possible and power outages can occur with winds up to 20-30mph and gusts up to 45mph along the coast and in the coastal mountains.

If you live in a part of California where rain isn’t expected this time, don’t worry, said Kristen Stewart, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office.

“We still have a whole winter ahead of us,” she said. “Hopefully there’s more to come.” Northern California rainstorm could break records and help firefighters

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