National Weather Service and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials recently concluded a meeting where they discussed the seemingly approaching end of the devastating wildfire season that has engulfed the state in the last few months.
Last week, California saw scattered showers that brought precipitation to the region for the first time since April. Officials expect another cold front to arrive in the Bay Area on Tuesday, bringing with it widespread rain.
The forecasts predict a potential end to the months of hot and deadly fires that started in late August. The first incident resulted from a lightning strike that sparked a cluster of fast-moving flames. The August Complex topped historical records as the first wildfire that burned through more than one million acres and was only fully contained on Sunday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Walbrun said that unlike the sudden start of the wildfire season, the end seems to be spread out across a longer and slower timeframe. Concerning the forecasted Northern California rain, Walbrun said, “The bottom line is that conditions are looking favorable.”
While the authority to declare the end of the wildfire season lies with Cal Fire and not the National Weather Service, the forecast of rains could help mitigate the spread of the flames. The showers could bring up to two inches of rain, which meteorologists have considered to be a positive sign. Officials said that Coastal Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz Mountains are the areas that could experience the most amount of rain while San Francisco could see about an inch of precipitation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The National Weather Service forecasted that the storm system could bring light to occasionally moderate rain across the North Bay and coastal ranges. Officials said that rain could begin at around sunrise before heading inland towards the southern regions in the afternoon and evening.
Despite the system not bringing heavy rain, forecasters predict that rainfall totals between Tuesday and Wednesday could reach 0.75 to 1.25 inches in the North Bay mountains and coastal ranges. Some favored wet spots could see a potential of higher levels at about 1.5 inches of rain.
In the North Bay valleys and along the San Cruz coast, residents could see anywhere between 0.25 and 0.75 inches of rain. Forecasters expect about 0.10 to 0.25 inches of precipitation totals for the East Bay and South Bay.
The National Weather Service also said the region could experience a drop in temperature due to increased cloud cover. The agency expects daytime highs to be between 50 to 60 during the midweek, the NBC Bay Area reported.
San Francisco was visited by a system that ranked one on the Storm Impact Scale that arrived on Friday the 13th. The storm that ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco tracked was nicknamed “Jason” and moved into the North Bay in the morning and across the entire Bay Area in the afternoon.
Nicco’s AccuWeather forecast showed the Bay Area would most likely be hit with more rain in the coming week, more focused between Tuesday and Thursday. He said, “Right now, those storms are one on the Storm Impact Scale, but because they are over a three day period, up to a half-inch is possible.”
Despite the precipitation helping to lessen the threat of wildfires, Nicco said that heavy rain could be detrimental while the region is still healing from the damage of the flames. This year saw a massive number of record-breaking wildfires in California. The meteorologist said that this week’s rain would be light enough that residents do not have to worry about being flooded, ABC7 News reported.