Wild Weather Hits the Bay Area

Hail in May? No way!

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jodi Hernandez
    Walking through Oakland was a wet experience Thursday.

    Memorial Day weekend is upon us. It's known as the unofficial start summer but around the Bay Area recently, you might think you stepped into a time machine and landed smack dab in the middle of winter. 

    Our wild, weird May continues today with what may be the crescendo to our late spring rainy season in the form of thundershowers and heavy Sierra snow. 

    Due to the very chilly air above and some potent spring time sunshine, this will be a favorable environment for generating some isolated thundershowers during the day. In fact, even without the aid of daytime heating we saw some thundershowers forming offshore before dawn.

    Upper level winds may will make conditions just right at times for some rotating, stronger thunderstorms later during the day -- mainly for areas in the North Bay, Delta and Central Valley. Stronger storms will produce frequent lightning and hail.

    A funnel cloud was spotted on Wednesday near Santa Rosa Airport surprised many but today's environment is actually more favorable for the phenomenon so we may hear about more funnel clouds sightings. 

    It might be a good time for some spring skiing. Really, really late spring skiing. Sierra snow levels will be unusually low -- near the 4,500-5,000 ft. range and locally lower "thundersnow" cells.  These convective-based showers bring lightning and bursts of heavy snow, a possibility for the Sierra until the early evening. 

    Wild Weather Forecast with Rob Mayeda

    [BAY] Wild Weather Forecast with Rob Mayeda
    Expect the "unexpected" today, though since I'm telling you about it here hopefully you won't be caught too off guard. ;-) We'll see brief downpours, isolated thundershowers and some sun mixed in for the afternoon. This wild mix of weather is due to a cold weather system moving over our heads today - coupled with late May sunshine (I realize it doesn't feel that warm, but it is warming the lower atmosphere enough to increase instability). Winds aloft are also somewhat supportive of some rotating storms, most likely out in the Central Valley, Delta and possibly around the North Bay. Things ought to calm down after sundown as the atmosphere begins to stabilize. Some showers are still possible into early Friday morning with clearing and breezy conditions for the afternoon. The weekend still looks very nice with highs in the 70s and dry conditions into early next week. - Rob Mayeda (Published Thursday, May 27, 2010)

    We'll be stepping out of that weather time warp by next week, though. Fans of drier, quieter weather take solace in our Friday and weekend forecast. Aside from a few early morning showers on Friday, we'll see clearing skies and a much warmer and dry weekend ahead.