Storm brings blustery, wet conditions to Bay Area, snow in Sierra

A blustery day is in store Sunday with winds and rain in the Bay Area delaying or canceling flights out of San Francisco International Airport and up to 2 feet of snow in the Sierra making for difficult driving for folks returning from Lake Tahoe.

National Weather Service meteorologists have issued a wind advisory, warning of winds of 25 to 25 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 mph, for all of the Bay Area except the Santa Clara Valley. The advisory continues until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Unlike Saturday, when strong winds were accompanied by only a modicum of precipitation — 0.11 of an inch in San Francisco, 0.47 of an inch in Santa Rosa — Sunday’s storm is expected to bring more significant rainfall.

“It hardly put a dent in our rainfall deficit,” said weather service meteorologist Will Pi. “But today looks like it will bring higher amounts.”

San Francisco and the East Bay should see up to an inch of rain with as much as 1.5 inches in the North Bay. Rain started falling around sunrise in San Francisco on Sunday and is expected to continue through the day with heaviest rainfall in the late afternoon and early evening.

The storm brought about a foot of snow to the Sierra Saturday night, and as much as 2 feet more was expected Sunday. A winter storm warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Monday with moderate to heavy snowfall anticipated.

Snow was already falling by late morning and chain controls were in effect on both Interstate 80 and Highway 50. Drivers were advised to expect slow going with poor visibility, white-out conditions at times, and trips taking twice as long as usual.

The storm is affecting air travelers in and out of San Francisco International Airport, which needs to shut down one of its side-by-side dual runways when weather conditions reduce visibility. The airport began operating with a single runway at 8 a.m. Sunday and is expected to continue reduced operations until midnight, said Bob Rotinksi, airport duty manager.

By late morning Sunday, 129 flights out of SFO had been canceled and both inbound and outbound flights were being delayed by 10 to 30 minutes.

Wet weather is expected to continue through the next six days, Pi said. Cloudy skies are expected Monday with a possibility of a few showers. Rain is forecast to return Tuesday or Wednesday and again on Friday.

“We’re in a good wet weather pattern,” he said.

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

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