Cultural producer Arturo Mendez plays his guitar during a sunny break from work in Downtown Berkeley on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Credit: Ximena Natera, Berkeleyside/CatchLight

Skies have finally cleared after a tumultuous week of graupel, snow, hail, rain and frost

Enjoy the sunny weather — and clear any clogged drains — while it’s still nice out. The next bout of rain is expected to arrive in Berkeley Saturday morning and steadily drizzle through the weekend, with showers possibly lingering through Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service (NWS) expects less than an inch of rain in total from Saturday to Tuesday. 

“The good news is that we’re expecting most of it to be light rain,” NWS meteorologist David King said.  

Temperatures will hover in the low 40s throughout the weekend and may drop to the upper 30s on Tuesday. It’ll be breezy: Expect wind gusts of around 20 to 25 mph. 

Last week’s rare low-elevation snowfall, which briefly capped Bay Area summits, including Grizzly Peak (and even fell on elevations as low as 400 feet in parts of the North Bay), was attributed to a low-pressure system coming from central Canada that was “statistically anomalously cold” — more than three standard deviations below normal, King said. 

The incoming rain system originates from British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska, and will be warmer than the last, thanks to the ocean’s warming effect on storms. (Our proximity to the ocean, which mitigates the coldest Arctic temperatures, is also why Bay Area snowfall is so rare.) 

It’s shaping up to be an impressive wet season in the Bay Area.

The NWS doesn’t have an official observation site in Berkeley, but its Oakland Airport gauge has reached 156% of normal precipitation rates expected for this time of the year. 

A rain gauge in West Berkeley has measured nearly 29 inches of rain since the start of the current water year, which runs October through September. About 3 inches of precipitation has fallen since Feb. 22 in Berkeley — adding up to around 4 inches total for February. Most of this year’s rain fell in December (12 inches) and January (10 inches). 

Weather patterns suggest that it’ll remain “fairly rainy” at least through the middle of March, King said.

We’ll leave you with a couple more photos of Berkeleyans enjoying the sunny weather.

A group gathers in front of Blue Bottle Coffee on Kala Bagai Way in Downtown Berkeley. Credit: Ximena Natera, Berkeleyside/CatchLight
Susanna Moore and her son took in the sun Wednesday on the UC Berkeley campus’ Crescent Lawn. Credit: Ximena Natera, Berkeleyside/CatchLight

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...