A pea-sized to marble hail is possible in the San Francisco Bay Area this week

A storm system threatening the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to bring moderate rainfall, isolated thunderstorms and the possibility of pea-sized to marble-sized hail Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The light rain showers that drenched the region earlier this week will be followed by a stronger storm system, with a half to three quarter inch of scattered showers expected to fall in San Francisco and the East Bay, while higher ground areas such as the Santa Cruz Mountains, Oakland Hills, Mount Tamalpais and Mount Diablo could see three-quarters to one inch of precipitation. The South Bay could see a quarter to a third of an inch of rain.

“For April, it’s stronger than normal,” said NWS meteorologist Drew Peterson. “But overall, we expect beneficial impacts. This will push back the fire season by several weeks, and we will harvest additional rains during this below normal rainfall season. Every inch counts.”

Most parts of the Bay Area have a 50% chance of seeing small hail, which isn’t unusual, Peterson said.

“When storm systems pass through the region during the shoulder seasons – which occur at the start and end of the rainy seasons in the fall and spring – that is when we see more than at any other time the potential for those showers or thunderstorms that can produce hail. ,” he said.

The biggest danger, however, is when that hail builds up and coats the roads, which Peterson likened to “driving on an icy road in the middle of winter.” There’s not much you can do once you’re on the road, but he does recommend taking a few precautionary measures.

“Be prepared for slower traffic and give more space between vehicles,” he said. “Try to stay aware of your surroundings. If you see showers nearby, be aware of the risk of small hail. It’s going to look like snow on the ground.

Rainfall is expected to continue through Friday morning and end later in the evening, with warmer conditions and highs in the 70s expected this weekend and early next week.

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