San Francisco

Rain, Winds Headed to Bay Area, But Little Drought Help

Windy and wet weather is expected to rush through the Bay Area early Tuesday with some isolated thunder possible and small hail as well.

The rain should change to scattered showers and some sunshine for Tuesday morning's commute.

However, even as the cold front zips by we'll have plenty of cold air aloft and moisture in place to trigger ongoing scattered showers boosted by daytime heating below.

Isolated thundershowers will remain in the forecast until late afternoon and evening as the sun begins to set and the lower levels of the atmosphere begin to cool and stabilize.

Some showers may linger into early Wednesday, but the remainder of the week should trend warmer and drier as high pressure regains control of our weather.

This week's windy storm comes after Gov. Jerry Brown last week stood in dry brown grass at a site normally covered in snow this time of year and declared the drought conditions gripping the state at its worst point in decades.

Had it been a week later, things might have looked different.

The strong and wet storm that will linger in Northern California through mid-week will do little to help the fix the drought.

"It's a start but it's just not enough,'' National Weather Service Forecaster Diana Henderson said. "We have a rather large deficient to make up for. One or 2 inches around the Bay Area is just not going to do it.''

Higher up, forecasters say 6 to 12 inches of snow could hit about 4,000 feet with 1 to 2 feet on the higher peaks during the storm. The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued a winter storm warning above 3,500 feet for heavy snow, which is in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Mountain travel could be hazardous with slick road and motorist should carry chains and watch speeds, especially above 3,500 feet.

The April 1 snow survey in the Sierra Nevada that Brown attended measured at a dismal 5 percent of historical average.

That same day Brown announced an order requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to implement measures in cities and towns to cut the state's overall water usage by 25 percent compared with 2013 levels.

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