Monsoon moisture pours into California. Here’s how it could impact the Bay Area


Monsoon moisture flowing into northern California from the Mexican coast this week could bring wet and dry thunderstorms to the region starting Wednesday, meteorologists said.

Storm activity appeared to be heading toward the Central Valley and Sierra, according to the National Weather Service. Isolated showers, thunderstorms and some lightning were expected Wednesday through Friday in those areas, weather officials said.

San Benito and interior Monterey counties are expected to receive about 1 inch of rain Wednesday, weather officials said.

But in the Bay Area, meteorologists say the chances of rain and dry thunderstorms were slim.

“The Bay Area itself won’t get much out of it,” said Sarah McCorkle of the weather service.

McCorkle said areas like East and North Bay could see remnants of monsoon moisture from Wednesday night through Thursday.

“It won’t rain much. If we get any, it might wet the floor, but it won’t be much,” she said.

In some places, the event could align with a heatwave, raising concerns about lightning-driven wildfires in areas that have seen historically low rainfall this year. Communities in the East Bay, San Joaquin Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains saw triple-digit temperatures on Tuesday.

Some forecasts show the system cutting through the South Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains, but predicting where and when thunder and lightning might strike is notoriously finicky.

Still, McCorkle urged people to continue to follow forecasts because lightning can cause wildfires. Nearly two years ago, similar conditions coalesced and sparked the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, which destroyed more than 900 homes in Santa Cruz County.

It’s important that people “just stay in the loop and have your fire plan ready,” she said.

The weather service urged people to keep vehicles clear of dry grass, avoid using outdoor equipment that could create sparks, properly dispose of cigarettes and matches, and avoid dragging tow chains.

San Francisco Chronicle editor Hannah Hagemann contributed to this report.

Jessica Flores (her) is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @jessmflores


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