The San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento could be hit with another round of rain for lower elevations and snow for higher elevations as an atmospheric river is expected to arrive this weekend.
The Saturday/Sunday storm is still developing. If the National Weather Service (NWS) is correct, an atmospheric river will drench parts of The Bay Area and Sacramento with 1.5 – 2.5 inches of rain and dump upwards of a foot of snow for the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The rainfall estimate for The Bay Area is around 1.5 inches — about half the amount from the monster storm in October.
Sacramento rainfall estimate will be around 2.5 inches for this weekend.
Here’s the 7-day precipitation forecast for the area.
“It could be a significant winter storm for us,” Eric Kurth, an NWS meteorologist in Sacramento, told Bloomberg. “We’re expecting a good potential for travel disruptions over the mountains.”
The rain and snow couldn’t come at a better time as nearly every county in the state are in a severe drought. State officials warned last week that millions of Californians and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland would see a reduction in water delivery next year.
This will be the biggest storm to sweep the region since late October when a storm dumped at least 3 inches of rain in The Bay Area and 5 inches in Sacramento.
“This is the time of year that we start building up the snowpack,” Kurth said. Let’s hope the snowpack in the Sierras builds in the Northern Hemisphere winter (now 12 days away) as it will be crucial for water distribution across the state next year. If there’s not enough snowpack, expect water shortages during the second half of 2022.