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Rain, hail forecast as San Francisco gets soaked

Much-needed storms ring in spring

Water rings are made by raindrops in a puddle on February 6, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

March is set to come in like a lion in San Francisco, as the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts a week of storms ahead, closing out an otherwise bone-dry February and kicking off spring with a sudden drenching.

Rain walloped the city very early Monday, and that’s just the start of the business according to NWS, which warns of “a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 10 a.m. Some of the storms could produce small hail. [...] Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.”

All of this activity won’t add up to to much precipitation, “less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms” in the city. But at least it may relieve the unfortunate spring-like heat that’s cranked up the dial across the Bay Area all month long.

This spate of storms is just getting started. Although predictions expect Tuesday to be clear and sunny again, and hedge only about a 30 percent chance of rain on Wednesday morning, odds favor a substantial San Francisco soaking of up to a quarter of an inch on Wednesday night and into Thursday, with precipitation pegged at 80 to 90 percent likelihood.

Winter Rainstorms Drench Bay Area Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The downpour will peter out by Friday, but possibly return as late as Saturday. The rest of the Bay Area is subject to the exact same forecast over the next week across an area ranging from San Jose up to Santa Rosa, with more rain anticipated for Contra Costa County.

In fact, those who love the sight of dark clouds on the horizon may end up adoring March, as the Weather Channel predicts another round of showers starting late next week and running through that weekend as well, although as usual predicting the weather is a tricky business, and longer-range forecasts are more likely to change.