Finally! Rain Makes It Back in the Forecast

Grab that umbrella -- the San Francisco Bay Area has rain in the forecast.

Meteorologists say we should expect to see a change from recent warm and dry winter weather beginning Thursday.

The Bay Area should expect to see clouds taking shape in advance of a low pressure storm system as soon as Wednesday night, and rain to follow as early as Thursday morning in some locations.

"A front will start moving up the coast from the south Wednesday, with rain starting later on Thursday," National Weather Service spokeswoman  Diana Henderson said this morning.

The weather service has warned that this developing storm could bring gusty south to southwest winds and is warning drivers to use caution  when traveling into higher elevations.

Though up to a foot of snow has been predicted for Sierra Mountain elevations above 5,000 feet, Bay Area peaks are not predicted to see any snowfall.

NBC Bay Area Meteorologist Craig Herrera said as the first storm leaves Thursday night, it will open the door for another storm to drop in from the north on Friday morning for more rain and some thunderstorms possibly producing small hail and lightning.

Herrera also mentioned The Bay Area has had two dry winters leading up to this season.  Herrera said season-to-date the Bay Area is at about 36% to 58% of normal with rainfall.  The rain season begins July 1st, and since then Santa Rosa has received 6.54 inches of rain and should be at about 17.97 inches, San Francisco has received 6.30 inches and should be at 13.13 inches, Oakland has received 6.96 inches and should be at 13.37 inches and San Jose has received 4.06 inches of rain and should be at 8.21 inches. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a winter  "Spare the Air" alert today, banning residents and businesses from burning  wood or manufactured fire logs.

The air district reports that particulate pollution in the Bay  Area has reached unhealthy levels.

During the alert, it is illegal to use fireplaces, wood stoves,  pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits and other wood-burning devices.

Today marks the 10th winter "Spare the Air" alert that has been  issued.

More information on the alert and when it will be lifted can be  found online at or by calling 877- 4-NO-BURN.

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