SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Bay Area residents woke up Thursday morning to the heaviest rainfall the region has experienced in recent memory, as the leading edge of a powerful spring storm dumped the first rainstorm expected to last through Friday.
The torrential rain started shortly after 4 a.m., leaving roads soaked at the start of Thursday morning’s commute. There were some early reports of flooding on the eastward approach to the Bay Bridge at the Fremont Street exit.
Good morning East Bay! Did the rain wake you up? Line of heavy rain passing through Contra Costa County to start your morning… pic.twitter.com/iKM2M2tP5r
— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) April 21, 2022
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The rain will wet roads during the morning rush as the next front drifts south. Continued rain for most of the day should focus on the south of the Golden Gate, favoring the coastal slopes of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, as well as the East Bay.
KPIX 5 First Alert Meteorologist Paul Heggen said one or two thunderstorms are possible, but the chances of thunderstorms from late morning through the afternoon and evening are higher.
Cloud-to-ground lightning and small hail — which can also make roads slippery — are the main threats posed by those storms.
The National Weather Service issued a winter warning and avalanche watch for the Lake Tahoe area late Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning.
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“A winter storm bringing new snow and high winds could lead to widespread avalanche activity in the mountains,” the weather service warned. “Heavy snow loads can cause large and destructive avalanches… There may be periods of high avalanche danger Thursday and Friday.”
— UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (@UCB_CSSL) Apr 19, 2022
The winter warning was issued in anticipation of heavy snowfall.
“Snowfall rates of 1-2″/hr and even up to 3″/hr for short bursts in the Tahoe Warning Area northwards,” forecasters said.
Scattered showers and stormy weather will continue on Thursday evening, decreasing to some persistent showers by Friday morning, to dry up Friday afternoon.
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Temperatures will rise over the weekend; by Sunday we approach 70° on the coast and almost 80° inland.