Round 2 of weekend storm will go until Monday; Long-term dry winter still in forecast

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Weekend storm to go until Monday, still not enough to impact drought
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Round two of the weekend storm will go through Monday. A long-term dry winter is still in the forecast despite heavy rainfall and snow.

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KGO) -- Round two of this weekend's storm will linger through Monday. The Western United States is badly in need of rain, but these stormy conditions bring a whole set of challenges of their own.

Even with the threat of rain, there was a good turnout for the 35th Annual Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade.

"Trying to make the most of it. Don't know if it is going to rain anytime soon. But we are going to have fun with it anyway," says Richard Deleo'n, a San Rafael resident, who came out with his wife and young son. "Last year, we got lucky and it didn't rain. It was cold, but not rainy. Seems like most folks still decided to come on out."

MORE: Timeline: Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms in Bay Area continues, snow dump blankets Tahoe

The nighttime boat parade may have been spared of the rain, but that wasn't the case for much of the day around the Bay.

The first round of this weekend's storm came in early and hit hard. The heavy rains and powerful winds caused highway spinouts and brought down power lines across the region.

It's the third storm this month, but not enough to impact the current drought. However, fire officials say a wet winter does help with the dry fuels.

"We live and die, so to speak, by the what we call 'fuel moisture content.' And that is, just like it sounds, how wet the fuels that are out there on the ground are," explains Steve Hill, with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

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

As the downpour drenched the Bay Area, the storm brought heavy snow and white-out conditions to the Tahoe area, closing portions of Interstate 80 and Highway 50 .

"We saw gusts across the ridge tops anywhere from 103-to-110 miles per hour," says Kevin "Coop" Cooper, a Tahoe area travel expert.

Copper says the storm also brought the threat of avalanches near some resorts. As he describes, there was six-to-12 inches of snow at lake level, but upwards of 16 inches at higher elevations. He believes the snow quality is setting up for a strong ski season.

MORE: I-80 closed in the Sierra due to heavy snow, near-zero visibility, says Caltrans

"But for what the set up is for the holidays, this is the perfect base that we have going in," says Cooper.

As water experts have noted that last year, California saw big storms in October and December, followed by the driest January, February and March ever recorded in the state. Longer-term forecasts are for another dry winter.

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