Update, Dec. 1 The rain drenching Berkeley on Thursday morning will cause minor flooding in the city and throughout the Bay Area, meteorologists have warned.
The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory, in effect until 11:45 a.m., when parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties will have received up to 1.5 inches of rain. Flooding will occur in urban areas with poor drainage, NWS said.
These conditions are especially hazardous to drivers, says the alert, which cautions motorists to “Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads.”
Original story, Nov. 30 Brace for a cold, rainy start to December, as two storms are headed toward the Bay Area.
Berkeley should expect to see a total of 1 inch of rain on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, with heavy rainfall starting around 6 a.m. The second storm is expected to douse another inch of rain on Berkeley between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
It’ll likely be windy and chilly throughout the weekend and into next week, with predicted highs in the 50s and lows in the low 30s. A clear day would typically bring temperatures back up, but the proximity of these two storms means temperatures will remain cool. “Temperatures are going to be a bit of a rinse-and-repeat,” said Brayden Murdock, a NWS meteorologist, noting that the rainfall is average for this time of year.
Like October 2021’s record-breaking storms, which downed power lines and trees across Berkeley, this weather event can be attributed to the flowing of an atmospheric river, which scoops up warm, moist air from the subtropics and dumps it on cooler areas.
This week’s rainstorms are on the weaker side in comparison to those from previous years, according to Murdock. That’s because these are moving at a faster pace, meaning the rain is expected to fall on Berkeley for significantly less time than the 2021 atmospheric river, which let loose nearly 9 inches in the Berkeley Hills.
The NWS is not expecting widespread floods because the predicted rainfall rates are not “terribly” high. Those residing in areas that regularly flood during storms, such as parts of West Berkeley, should prepare accordingly.
Residents and businesses can call 311 (or 510-981-2489 after hours) to report storm-related issues “such as a clogged drain, culvert, inlet, or creek; a fallen tree or major limb; a malfunctioning traffic signal; or flooding that enters a travel lane.”
In the event of a power outage, PG&E officials recommend customers to prepare flashlights (not candles) and turn off electric appliances to prevent fire hazards when power is restored.
Oaklandside reporter Natalie Orenstein contributed reporting to this story.