SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — With the California heat wave fading into the rear view mirror, the Bay Area is enjoying a mild spell with cool temps and sunshine that could give way to showers this weekend.

“As fire season ramps up here in the Bay, my attention is generally focused on when we will see our first off shore wind event,” explained KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan. “But I have to say, I’m thrilled that my attention is instead being diverted to the possibility of rain coming our way later this weekend.”

With California still in the midst of a historic drought and September and October traditionally the months where we see the greatest danger of wildfires, Grogan says the rain could be beneficial on several levels.

Graphic by KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan

“Not only could we use every drop of rain we can get, because we have ongoing drought issues, but also because any precipitation at this time of year helps us to stave off fire danger,” Grogan said.

When will the rain arrive?

“The first hints of some rainfall started showing up in the models a day or two ago and when we’re that far out, you really have to be patient and wait for more data to arrive to see what will actually come together,” Grogan said. “The good news is that in the last 24 hours, the models have strengthened their tilt towards rain instead of away from it.”

“It looks like we will have showers overnight Saturday into Sunday and they will continue through at least Monday, possibly linger a bit longer,” said Grogan. “I’m still refining rainfall totals so stay tuned!

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How much rain will we get?

“How much precipitation we’ll get is still to be determined,” said Grogan. “Early estimates would put urban areas somewhere in the neighborhood of .1” to .25” and at this time of year, that would be significant and hopefully a sign of things to come this winter.” 

Grogan says that the forecasts models will become much clearer over the next 12 to 24 hours.

“As we draw closer to the weekend, model output is still trending towards a significant early season rain event for the Bay Area and Central Coast of California,” Grogan said. “Normally at this time of year we are bone dry and if anything rolls our way it is most likely coming from tropical moisture — similar to what we saw last week with Hurricane Kay.”

What’s different about this rain forecast

“Generally in September, we look to see if any remnants of those storms come our way,” Grogan explained. “This system is bucking that trend and instead is coming from the Gulf of Alaska, similar to storms that we see much later in the season. So this is an outlier for sure.”

“Having said that, it is a welcome outlier as our ground and vegetation are very dry and we are in the middle of fire season.  So this system is valuable as it could help us stave off some of our fire danger as we wait for the winter storm season to begin.”