SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It’s only September, but an atmospheric river is already in California’s forecast. Sunday’s storm is good news for smoke-weary Bay Area residents. The storm will lightly shower over the Bay, and pour heavier rain on regions where wildfires are burning near the California-Oregon border.

Rainy weather could give firefighters the upper hand in battling the blazes, which have been the sources of smoke plumes spewing across the state this week.

A cold front will bring light drizzle to the Bay Area starting late Sunday night and into Tuesday morning. The brunt of the atmospheric river “will mostly miss the Bay Area,” KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan said.

The National Weather Service Bay Area wrote, “Rain chances increase late Sunday night in the North Bay, and into Monday across the rest of the Bay Area.”

“The current forecast offers good chances for rain across the North Bay, with reduced, but still good chances for the San Francisco Peninsula and the East Bay, and lower chances for the South Bay. Between 0.10″ to 0.70″ of rain is possible for areas of the North Bay over a two day period, where there has not been any appreciable precipitation since May. Higher elevations within the North Bay may have locally higher amounts,” the weather service wrote.

On Friday, hazy and smoky air continued plaguing skies from the North Bay to the South Bay, and all the way down to the Monterey Bay. Air quality is in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range on the U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Index and a Spare the Air Alert was extended into Saturday.

The weather service wrote, “Hate the smoke? We have some exciting news for you! Smoke will gradually improve today, then greatly improve by late Saturday as a potent upper low approaches.”

(Graphic courtesy NWSBA)

Rainy weather will last through early Tuesday, according to NWSBA:

  • North Bay: Widespread showers
  • San Francisco Bay Area: Scattered showers
  • Santa Cruz County: Drizzle