Timing is Everything When it Comes to Weekend Rain

Last week's rain means more water runoff

Friday, Feb 27, 2009  |  Updated 6:21 PM PDT
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Timing is Everything When it Comes to Weekend Rain

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A rainstorm this weekend could cause even more flooding problems than last weekend's showers because the Bay Area's soil has already absorbed a lot of water, according to the National Weather Service.

Mountains throughout the region absorbed many inches of rain from the weeklong downpour, up to 11 inches in some areas, which means runoff will come easier.

"It is possible, but many things need to come together for flooding to happen," said NBC Bay Area meteorologist John Farley. "There are several big blobs of moisture off in the Pacific heading towards California, but we aren't sure exactly where they will go yet."

Farley said in order for flooding to take place, two main things need to occur.

"Number one -- where will the moisture land? Number two -- will there be a storm in place over the Bay Area to wring the moisture out? The big thing is people need to stay tuned," Farley said.

Runoff is a major cause of flooding, especially on roadways with poor drainage, meteorologist Tom Evans said.

"Since the ground is already pretty moist, the runoff will be much quicker. I would definitely caution those who are traveling to be cautious of flooding," Evans said. "It's one of our major concerns."

Rain is expected to start developing Saturday evening and will probably continue through Monday evening.

He said between Feb. 11 and Thursday, some mountainous areas got  up to 11 inches of rain and urban areas got about 4 inches.

However, between Saturday and Tuesday, the Bay Area can expect about an inch of rain in urban areas and about 2 to 4 inches in higher elevations.

Evans also said this is a subtropical storm that will probably be warmer and means no snow on the mountaintops.

The heaviest rainfall will probably be during the day on Sunday through the evening.

Mudslides and sliding rocks are also a major possibility, especially with the moistened soil and during the heavier downpours, he said.

Last weekend's storm prompted two Bay Area flood advisories and caused major roadway flooding.

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