SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A swirling low pressure system off the northern California coast early Saturday morning sent waves of downpours to the San Francisco Bay Area, dumping nearly an inch of rain in North Bay.
The showers were a welcome relief after this week’s Drought Monitor revealed extremely dry conditions were spreading across North Bay.
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By dawn, the front had dumped more than 0.70 inches of rain in Santa Rosa, Kentfield, San Rafael and Napa. Mt. Veeder in Wine Country was the wettest place in the Bay Area at 1.18 inches.
San Francisco had gotten 0.2 inches and Palo Alto 0.34 inches.
“It (the rain) started around midnight,” KPIX meteorologist Darren Peck said. “It’s nice to see the showers attracting everyone. It was widespread rain as a direct hit.
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The storm front was moving rapidly eastward, bringing clear skies and warm temperatures by mid-morning, setting up a spectacular day for holiday gatherings on Sunday.
In the Sierra, travel will be difficult on Saturday, leading to a perfect day of spring skiing. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that will remain in effect for the Lake Tahoe area until 2 p.m. Saturday.
UPDATE: Open traffic on EB I-80 in Kingvale, keep WB I-80 traffic in @TownofTruckee. Chain of stops on all Sierra highways this morning. Expect significant delays for mountain travel. pic.twitter.com/JMQerk6KNg
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) April 16, 2022
“Total snowfall amounts up to 4 inches except 6 to 12 inches along and west of Highway 89 above 6500 feet including Donner Pass,” the forecasters said of the conditions. “Winds southwest 15 to 25 mph gusting to 45 mph and waves 2 to 5 feet on Lake Tahoe. Ridgetop winds will sometimes blow up to 100 mph.
Although the snow is a welcome sign, Peck said it’s “too little, too late” to impact the water situation as we enter the dry season.
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“It pushes the fire season back by several weeks,” he said. “But by the time we get into July and August and more importantly September and October, I don’t think the snow we’re getting at the moment will make a difference. It’s too little, too late.