Atmospheric river timeline: Here's what to expect for Level 3 storm Thursday and Friday

A Flood Watch has been issued for the entire Bay Area Thursday afternoon into Friday

Drew Tuma Image
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Atmospheric river timeline: Level 3 storm coming Thursday and Friday
An atmospheric river will arrive in the Bay Area Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, damaging winds, flooding, and mudslide threats.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Thursday, we will see light rain arrive between noon to 4 p.m. Rain will likely increase its intensity after 7 p.m. Thursday. This storm will bring heavy rain at times and damaging winds.

LIVE: Track rain in San Francisco Bay Area with Live Doppler 7

A Flood Watch has been issued for the entire Bay Area Thursday afternoon into Friday. ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma says we are expecting to see areas of localized flooding on roads and smaller streams and creeks. A Wind Advisory has also been issued from 1 p.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Friday.

Tuma says the time for the highest impacts has shifted to 7 p.m. Thursday - 4 a.m. Friday. This is the window for strongest winds and rounds of heavy rain. Because of this both Thursday and Friday are now a Level 3 on the Storm Impact Scale (previously it was just Friday).

Here is a look at the impacts of the storm.


The highest rainfall totals will be found in the higher terrain of the North Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains where shallow mudslides are possible as soils are fairly saturated from recent rain. The threat for roadway flooding and stream flooding will be highest on Friday morning across the Bay Area.

Initial estimates for rainfall Thursday p.m. - Friday:

North Bay 2"-5"

SF & Peninsula 1"-3"

East Bay 1"-3"

South Bay 1" - 2"

Santa Cruz Mountains 2" - 5"


We will see damaging winds Thursday night into Friday morning with gusts of 30-50 mph+. This will bring trees down and will likely lead to isolated power outages.


High snow levels above 7,000 ft mean fewer areas will be impacted by snow. Still likely to see 1 - 3 feet of snow in areas that remain cold enough for it. Areas below 7,000 ft will see all rain with some areas exceeding 6"+ of rainfall.

VIDEO: Yosemite National Park remains closed amid winter storm; more snow expected this weekend

Yosemite National Park remains closed and inaccessible amid treacherous storm conditions. And, even more snow in on the way.

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