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‘Legit Winter Storm’ Hits the Bay Area, Delivering Heavy Rain and Frigid Weather

The Bay Area’s first real winter storm of the year touched down early Thursday morning and is expected to continue into the afternoon, in what forecasters say will be delivering heavy rain and frigid weather across the region.

«It’s going to be a legit winter storm, and everybody should prepare for it as such,» said meteorologist Brian Garcia of the National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay Area office, who advised people to stay indoors, if possible. «Watch out for falling branches, falling trees. … With the wind, we could see some localized power outages.»


Weather conditions will likely «deteriorate» through the early morning on Thursday, Garcia said.

Intermittent downpours could bring as much as 3 inches of rain to coastal areas in Sonoma County and around Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, and could cause flooding on highways and areas with limited drainage, like Marin City.

Most parts of the Bay Area will receive up to 1.5 inches of rain on Thursday, paired with 30–45 mph wind gusts and temperatures dropping into the 40s, before clearing up by Friday. A second but weaker system is expected to bring more rain Friday night through Sunday.

This is really kind of the first typical winter storm that we’ve had for the season,» said Garcia. «We’ve had a couple other fronts roll through and bring us a little bit of rain. But this one kind of brings it all with the wind, the rain and the cold temperatures following.»

The coldest weather is forecast for early Friday morning after the storm has passed, with temperatures expected to dip into the mid-30s to low-40s throughout most of the Bay Area, before rising into the mid-to-high 40s by Saturday.

Amid the imminent cold, wet conditions, local officials and service providers are scrambling to temporarily expand access to warming centers and other shelters for the thousands of unsheltered people living throughout the Bay Area who remain uniquely vulnerable to harsh weather conditions.

We certainly do not have shelter beds for every person experiencing homelessness in our community,» said Cohen, regarding capacity at the shelters. «We estimate that we have over 7,700 people experiencing homelessness in our community on any given night. But on any given day, we tend to have enough vacancies within the system to make offers of shelter to people living outside. The outreach team is equipped daily with shelter beds, and they go out and offer them to folks living outdoors. And if folks accept those offers, we will facilitate their immediate placement.»


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