Bay Area Christmas forecast brings less rain, wind than expected

Conditions for Christmas may not be as wet as forecasters first expected, but the Bay Area should still see some rain beginning by afternoon, the National Weather Service said Friday.
“You know, it’s not as big of a gift as we may have hoped for it to be,” NWS meteorologist Brian Garcia said.
“Over the last couple of days, we[‘ve seen the models trend back on rainfall totals. As of this morning, they see very little accumulation.”
Garcia added that the bulk of precipitation is expected by afternoon into the early evening hours.
One expected impact will be traffic, Garcia said: “We’ve had very little rain on roads this season, and accumulations of oil and water can separate and make for slick driving.”
Lighter rain amounts, ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches along the North Bay mountains and coastal ranges to an inch around Mount Tamalpais, are expected with wind gusts peaking around 20 mph in some mountain passes and across the region’s bridges. That bodes well for still-vulnerable burn scars around several Bay Area fire landscapes, Garcia said.
Locally, Mount Diablo may see a quarter-inch of rain, and inland East and South Bay towns like Walnut Creek and San Jose could see as little as one to two-tenths of an inch.
Another system Sunday into Monday is expected to differ in impact, Garcia said: “That system is dropping in from the northwest and, depending on its track, the bulk of its precipitation will be from the Peninsula through the Big Sur area. It may almost be a non-event in the North Bay.”
In both rain systems’ wake, chillier air will filter in, with Saturday night lows dipping into the 30s in some inland towns and even the upper 20s in outlying North Bay valleys.
The forecast generally calls for overnight lows in the 30s and 40s, and daytime highs in the mid 50s to low 60s with a mix of cloudy to overcast skies and westerly winds.
Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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