Mostly clear

Warmer, wetter conditions coming to the North Bay

  • Scott Wilkinson wrapped up his daughter Amy, 3, in his jacket while walking Amy's older brother Rowan, 5, to Proctor Terrace Elementary School on a chilly Tuesday morning.

Get ready to put away the heavy woolies and get out the slickers. Starting this evening Mother Nature should launch a series of fronts across the North Coast bringing a relic of the past: rain.

Finally, that stubborn, month-long, high-pressure system is getting the boot, ending four weeks of sunny, cool, dry days.

The frigid early morning temperatures — Tuesday's 25 degrees in Santa Rosa was the lowest this season — should give way to the milder pattern associated with the rain.

"One system after another," predicted National Weather Service Meteorologist Austin Cross. "Another in on Friday and one over the weekend."

The Wednesday night-into-Thursday storm could bring up to an inch of rain in the valleys and three inches in the upper hill areas of the North Bay, he said.

Though the Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino reservoirs still are at about 80 percent full with the traditional wet season still ahead, the rain would be welcome, officials said.

"We're hoping that what's being predicted .<TH>.<TH>. is going to come to fruition," said Pam Jeane, assistant general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, which delivers water to 600,000 Sonoma and Marin County residents.

Forecasts for Santa Rosa say rain is highly likely for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday. The first storm is could reach the North Bay between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight. "It'll be moving south and get to the whole Bay Area by the next morning," Cross said.

Another change will be somewhat warmer mornings as the week progresses.

Today's early morning temperatures, predicted to be in the 20s and low 30s, will rise to the mid-40s by the end of the week, according to forecasts.

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