Rain returns to the San Francisco Bay Area forecast

Light rain is possible later in the week, according to the weather service.|

Weather models last week showed no rain in sight in the San Francisco Bay Area through Thanksgiving, but more recent runs on the models revealed a chance for light rain by Thursday into Friday, the National Weather Service said.

A weather system pushing into the Pacific Northwest will drag a weak cold front across Northern California, and on Monday it wasn't clear how far south the rain would make it.

"The greater chance is in the North Bay with a lesser chance as you move south," said Roger Gass, a forecaster with the weather service's Bay Area office in Monterey. "Overall, we're looking at rainfall amounts of a tenth of an inch. We could see closer to a quarter to a half inch in the coastal ranges of Sonoma County. Overall we're not expecting a big rain event."

Gass said there's a 30% to 50% chance of rain in the North Bay and a 20% to 40% chance in the central Bay Area.

This is good news in the water-starved Bay Area. The region has seen two consecutive dry winters, and there's hope this winter will be different. The season got off to a promising start in October with a powerful atmospheric river that broke rainfall records, and in November a weaker storm delivered another soaking. The rain put an end to the fall wildfire season, but severe drought conditions remain.

On Monday morning, a mix of high clouds and fog blanketed the Bay Area, and Gass said the cloud cover will keep temperatures cool and in the low 60s throughout the day. Dry conditions are expected through Wednesday with afternoon highs inching up into the high 60s through mid-week.

Temperatures are expected to cool with the arrival of rain on Thursday and Friday.

After the mid-week rain event, dry conditions are in the forecast through the weekend.

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