The second wave of atmospheric flow, which began Saturday night, will bring more showers and possibly thunderstorms to Sonoma County on Monday – weather forecasters predict another, weaker storm will follow later this week.
Although parts of Sonoma County are expected to receive just inches more rain as the atmospheric river continues to flood North Bay, the worst storm is likely to hit parts of South Bay and California’s Central Coast, the National Weather Service said.
The agency issued a wind warning for the San Francisco Peninsula as well as East Bay, South Bay and Santa Cruz Counties, warning that winds could reach gusts of up to 55 miles per hour from 4 p.m. Sunday through 7 a.m. Monday.
A strong wind warning also extended to Monterey and San Benito counties, which could have gusts of 45 to 60 mph for most of Monday.
In Sonoma County, the potential clash of warm and cool air on Monday means little risk of thunderstorms, although recent rainfall is enough to allay fears of a fire from lightning strikes, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brayden Murdock.
“It will be pretty constant, sporadic rain, but there is a possibility of instability that could lead to thunderstorms,” Murdock said.
At 6 p.m. on Sunday, the atmospheric river had dropped 1.83 inches of rain in Santa Rosa, 2.39 inches at Stewart’s Point on the northern edge of the Sonoma Coast, and 3.23 inches in the western county town of Occidental, the highest 24-hour Total rainfall for Sonoma County, Murdock said.
The atmospheric flow could clear up sometime late Monday or Tuesday, Murdock said.
If so, the coastal hills and the northern end of the Mayacamas mountain range – areas like St. Helena and the Geysers – are expected to see the most rainfall, totaling around 5 inches, said Brian Garcia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Areas along Highway 101 will likely see around 2 to 3 inches of rainfall.
Sunday’s rain was a welcome sight for Kitty Ewing, a Kelseyville resident who moved to the North Bay area from Daytona Beach, Florida in March 2020.
Ewing said she was surprised by the dry conditions in the area after living in Florida, where wet weather is common. The lack of rain has seriously affected her gardening work, she added.
“Hopefully it will keep raining so that it stays green,” said Ewing.
The showers could resume as early as Wednesday night, although the upcoming storm is expected to fall less rain than the previous one, Murdock said.
Sonoma County’s highest peaks could see up to 5 inches of rainfall from this system, a by-product of the current atmospheric flow, while areas near the Sonoma Valley could get half an inch, Murdock said.
“We are confident it will come,” he said of the coming storm. “The precipitation totals can probably change a little, but not much. The (atmospheric flow) that is just passing draws a lot of moisture from Hawaii. “
The current system is likely to deliver less rain than the mighty, record-breaking atmospheric flow that occurred in October, Garcia added. The October storm rained up to a foot in some areas of the county, setting a new 24-hour record in Santa Rosa, where 7.83 inches fell in one day.
Despite the mildly mild conditions on Sunday, the Forestville Fire Department received a call about an 80 to 100 foot high fir tree that fell on the second floor of a house in the middle of the steady rain on Sunday afternoon.
The report came in at 3:46 a.m. and sent firefighters with the agency to a house on the 10,000 block of Woodside Drive, Forestville Fire Captain Patrick Mills said.
A resident of the house who was on the first floor of the house when the tree fell was unharmed, he added.
The fir cut nearby power and phone lines on its way down, Mills said. Firefighters cordoned off the area until PG&E turned off the power lines later that afternoon.
In the vicinity of Woodside Drive, 139 customers were still without power on Sunday night. According to PG & E’s power outage website, power should be restored by 1:00 a.m. Monday.
The Forestville Fire Department has taken two more calls about fallen trees that firefighters had cleared from the streets in the area, Mills said. One of those calls involved a small rock fall on Wohler Road being shoveled out of the street, he said.
“It’s a big tree and a stormy day out here, so that’s not uncommon,” Mills said, referring to the fir tree on Woodside Drive. “But what is unusual is when (the tree) hits a house.”
Cold weather will follow both the atmospheric flow and the storm that followed, Murdock said. The low temperature on Wednesday night could drop to 33 degrees. Temperatures around the 20s are possible in Santa Rosa this weekend, he added.
Follow the storm with the following real-time radar map:
Staff Writer Matt Pera contributed to this report.
You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or [email protected] On Twitter @nashellytweets.