Monsoonal Moisture Hits NorCal, Fires Rage in State

The monsoonal moisture that's been hammering portions of Southern California is now moving into Northern California, creating a stark environmental contrast in the state: Flash foods and fires.

Between Monday and Wednesday, there's a chance of showers and even an isolated thunder storm that could hit the Bay Area - most likely in the East Bay hills and North Bay. And rain is expected to hit the region of Lake Tahoe by Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service on Monday issued a heavy rain and flash flooding for portions of the western United States, including up to two inches of rain near the Sierra Nevada, just as the California Department of Forestry fought a total of 14 wildfires across the state.

NBC Bay Area Meterologist Rob Mayeda said any wet weather is rare for July and August, typically the driest months of the year, and it's especially unusual since California is now in its third year of a drought. But the precipitation is not expected to end the drought any time soon. 

"It's like throwing a bucket of water into an empty swimming pool," Mayeda said.

While any water is good - and should have a good short-term effect for the firefighters - Mayeda also pointed out that the slight chance of lightning strikes could also start new blazes. Within the last week, Cal-Fire reported that nearly 300 lightning strikes have ignited more than a dozen fires.

It's unclear if the flash floods that battered Mt. Baldy in Los Angeles County on Sunday, which killed one man and forced the evacuation of 2,000 others will play out as dramatically in Northern California. There was also flash flooding over the weekend in the mountain community of Forest Falls in San Bernandino County, and similar warnings for Riverside County.

PHOTOS: Southern California Rain, Flooding

Temperatures in the Bay Area will be mild to start the week, and feel extra sticky outside with the humidity increase, Mayeda said. But the upper level system should move out in the second half of the week, with skies clearing up by the end of the week.  

Contact Us