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Rain is headed to Bay Area

Storms inbound for fire-ravaged Northern California

Clouds over Crissy Field. Photo by Chris LaBasco

This week’s forecast calls for both rain and relief, as storms approach Northern California and bring hope that new precipitation may help quell fires in Butte County and the resulting smokey haze in the Bay Area.

According to the National Weather Service [NWS], there’s an 80 percent chance of rain in San Francisco on Tuesday night, followed by a 90 percent chance all day Wednesday and most likely continuing through the evening.

The forecast also predicts a “chance of showers” on Thanksgiving and then “showers likely” that night and all day Friday as well.

“New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible” on Wednesday, according to the forecast, with a bit less anticipated for other storms.

Any rain in California is always welcome news; according to data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor last week, the entire state is experiencing “abnormally dry” conditions, with 53.2 percent of California in the grips of at least “moderate drought.”

(This time last year it was less than nine percent.)

But winds from the incoming storms could also help finally push away the record-breaking levels of poor air pollution clinging to SF skies ever since the Camp Fire in Butte County erupted on November 8.

Speaking of which, NWS predicts up to a 90 percent chance of rain in the Chico area on Wednesday and lower but still significant odds of precipitation Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, which would assist fire crews still working in the Camp Fire area.

However, it’s important to note that rain isn’t always a blessing for areas ruined by fires, which could pose a threat to newly unstable ground.