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"Near-record breaking" rain predicted for the San Francisco Bay Area

Melinda Young Stuart
Flickr / Creative Commons
The San Francisco skyline shown from the East Bay under thick clouds backlit by the sun.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center predicts heavy rainfall starting Tuesday night that will be “near-record breaking for late October.” The unpredictability of meteorological soothsaying notwithstanding, that could be good news for California.

Climate change has caused exceptional drought in nearly half of the state, including most of the Bay Area, according to the official United States Drought Monitor. That means dire conditions for crops, forests, fish, and wildlife, as well as the potential for wildfire.

So far this year, nearly 2.5 million acres have burned in California, with three attributed fatalities according to CalFire. The Estrada Fire is currently burning at less than 150 acres in Santa Cruz County, but the agency notes that only one other significant fire has started in the last week.

The upcoming showers could bring as much as two inches of rain according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Up to a quarter inch of rain fell over the weekend in some of the North Bay coastal ranges. The paper reported that 35,000 Bay Area residents lost power; most were in South San Francisco, Richmond, Dublin, and Livermore. PG&E reports that no parts of the Bay Area are experiencing power outages.