Pedestrians try to keep their umbrellas from blowing away as heavy rains and wind moved into the Washington area , Friday, Sept. 1, 2006. The District of Columbia and Virginia have declared a state of emergency in preparation for any kind of severe damage Tropical Storm Ernesto might dish out. 43 counties in the area are now under advisories, watches, or severe weather warnings. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
The first in a series of four storms zeroed in on the Bay Area Sunday.
The day began dry but rain fell by the afternoon thanks to a system that hit the entire region.
The series of storms is pointed directly at the Bay Area, bringing heavy rain and strong winds throughout the week. Forecasters say each storm stacked up off the coast is stronger than the previous one.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for Monday with wind gusts of 40 mph in the forecast.
National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said we should be prepared for rivers and other bodies of water to rise above their banks by the end of the week.
"To have this progression, this number of systems, is not unheard of but it's not usual. If it progresses as anticipated, at the end, we will probably have to go back 10 years or more to find a system of equal rainfall and intensity," Benjamin said.
A brief break Tuesday night will soon be forgotten, as the rain will pick up and be heavy again Wednesday evening through Friday. By the end of the week, the Bay Area will be measuring the rain in inches, not only in the hills, but also in the lower areas.
NBC Bay Area's Rob Mayeda said Wednesday should be the day with the heaviest rainfall in the coastal mountains with midweek rain amounts in the 5"-10" range at this point. Wind and rain intensity should begin throttling down later Thursday. Friday should see scattered showers as most of the energy dives into Southern California. With any luck, the computer models will hang on to a mainly dry Saturday forecast before another fairly strong system arrives later on Sunday
The results of these storms has the potential for flooding a lot like New Year's Day 2006, when local rivers overspilled banks and toppled trees, trapping residents and knocking out power to thousands.
Weather experts will be watching the rivers closely and you can too, with a few clicks of the mouse.
Check out this link to follow the rivers. Just put your mouse over the dot and a window will pop up with critical information. On the right side of the screen you'll see the flood stage for each river as you place your mouse over the dot. The dot will be GREEN if all is okay with that river, YELLOW as we need to start monitoring and RED if we are flooding!
The storms are coming at a bad time for the Great Highway.
The San Francisco Department of Public Works has issued a declaration of emergency to protect a bluff along the Great Highway just south of Sloat Boulevard.
Department of Public Works officials made the declaration Friday to protect the roadway and the Lake Merced Wastewater Tunnel. Such a declaration allows the department to hire contractors and purchase materials for immediate mitigation measures, which are expected to start in the next few weeks.
The department has already realigned the southbound lanes of the highway south of Sloat Boulevard away from the cliff.
It also has hired firms to assess options after recent storm surges caused more than 30 feet of the bluff to fall, eroding the hillside close to the southbound lanes of the Great Highway.