Rain, king tides to soak Bay Area on Sunday

Expect a damp and somewhat stormy Sunday with Mother Nature delivering light rain, and a possible thunderstorm, while unusually high tides bring rising waters and potential flooding to the bay and coast.

Gusty winds are also forecast, and feet of snow are expected to make driving tough in the Sierra.

And, as a bonus, a total lunar eclipse will take place Sunday night.

By Monday morning, however, the skies are expected to clear, bringing dry weather for several days.

Showers started early Sunday and are forecast to continue throughout the day. But they’re expected to deliver just light rain — from hundredths of an inch to perhaps three-tenths of an inch in and around San Francisco, said Matt Mehle, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Monterey.

North Bay hills could get up to a half inch, the most in the Bay Area. Unless there’s a thunderstorm, a possibility Sunday afternoon, which could deliver a burst of heavier rainfall.

“This is more of what we’d call a nuisance rain, kind of light, keeping things gray all day,” Mehle said. “Nothing like last week.”

The National Weather Service issued a handful of warnings and advisories for Sunday. A coastal flooding advisory is in effect until noon, with flooding possible along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, coastal paths and trails on the Peninsula and low-lying roads and parking lots in Marin.

A wind advisory was issued for coast areas and around the bay beginning at 6 p.m. and continuing until 4 a.m. Monday, with winds of 20-30 mph from the west and gusts up to 45 mph. Mehle warned that trees in those areas, sitting in soaked soil from last week’s storms, could tilt or fall.

In the Sierra, particularly the Lake Tahoe area, a winter storm warning will be in effect until 4 a.m. Monday. Two to three feet of snow are expected along with windy conditions in the afternoon.

The weather service and CHP advise drivers to stay off the roads.

Rains have also prompted flash flood warnings in and around Paradise (Butte County) where the Camp Fire burned. Mud and debris flows are possible, according to the weather service. No evacuations have been ordered, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

“Traveling to the Sierra is discouraged over the next day or so,” Mehle said. “With all the snow from last week, and this adding to it, driving conditions are dangerous.”

Drivers ignoring that advice and heading to Lake Tahoe are advised to carry chains and pack plenty of patience as delays and possible highway closures are expected.

As for the lunar eclipse, it’s not clear whether the clouds will break enough to allow the Bay Area to catch a glimpse. The eclipse starts around 7:30 p.m., with the total surface of the moon covered in shadow for two minutes beginning at 8:41 p.m. then slowly returning to normal by 10:51 p.m.

“The chance of us seeing it is slim tonight,” Mehle said. “But if you’re out tonight, look up, you might see something.”

Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ctuan

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rain-king-tides-to-soak-Bay-Area-on-Sunday-13548123.php.

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