Like clockwork, potent storm to roll into the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO — If it’s Tuesday, there must be another storm ready to sweep into the San Francisco Bay Area, set to pound the waterlogged region with gusty winds and intense downpours.

Mother Nature is often not predictable, but this March it’s been a pretty good bet that you’ve needed a raincoat and an umbrella as you’ve left your home for work or school on a Tuesday.

While this storm front will not be carrying an atmospheric river with it, forecasters say it may still be potent enough to trigger localized flooding and down trees and power lines.

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“Rain rates as this cold front moves through will generally range between 0.1″ to 0.3″ per hour, however, both hi-res models show intermittent periods where rain rates could peak around 0.5″ per hour,” the National Weather Service said. “Keep in mind that heavy downpours can lead to urban flooding, ponding of water on roads, along with rises in creeks and streams.”

The weather service has yet to issue any flood warnings or advisories, but the agency has posted a wind advisory running from Monday evening to Tuesday afternoon.

“Models show that the interior North Bay Hills, East Bay & eastern Santa Clara Hills will also see gusts getting up to 45-55 mph,” the weather service said.

The combination of saturated soils, weakened trees and high winds have proven to be a deadly combination during the current parade of storms.

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“Preceding storms have saturated soils which will result in trees coming down and the potential for more power outages,” National Weather Service San Francisco meteorologist Roger Grass told CNN.  

Five people were killed in the Bay Area from toppled trees during a violent “bomb cyclone” storm packing gale-force winds that left widespread destruction last Tuesday.

Four people were also injured, three critically, by falling trees around the city  The winds toppled at least 900 trees and branches in San Francisco.

Earlier this month, a mother hiking with her son’s Boy Scout troop died after a tree fell on her on a trail just outside of Cupertino.  

Much of northern California is forecast to pick up 1-2 inches of rain, including the Bay Area, with isolated areas of higher rainfall.

Though the totals may not seem very high, many locations are already experiencing their top 10 wettest Marches on record.

“We still have road closures in the mountainous areas because of the sheer number of landslide and rockslides since we have been impacted by so many storm systems,” Grass said.

The Sacramento weather service office calls for “major mountain travel impacts” in parts of northern and central California. Up to 4 feet of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph are possible over the Sierra Nevada, leading to difficult travel conditions.

Statewide, the snowpack in California for the Sierras is currently at 228% of its normal amount for this time of year and this storm will only increase that margin. The Southern Sierras specifically have reached record levels, while the Central Sierra likely will by the end of the winter season.

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