Heavy rain, winds head for Berkeley on Tuesday, with the “atmospheric river”


An atmospheric river reached the area of ​​the bay last winter, but this year has been particularly dry so far. Photo: John Andrew Rice

Update, 7:50 PM: Predicted heavy rains and strong winds prompted the East Bay Regional Park District to close several local parks for the safety of local members. The following parks will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on January 27:

  • Anthony Chabot (Redwood Canyon Golf Course may remain open)
  • Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
  • Huckleberry Regional Preserve
  • Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area
  • Lake Chabot Regional Park
  • Leona Canyon is an open space regional reserve
  • Reinhart Redwood Regional Park
  • Roberts recreation area
  • Sibley Regional Reserve
  • Tilden Regional Park (including Tilden Golf Course)
  • Wildcat Canyon Regional Park / Alvarado Park

Original story: Berkeley will experience heavy winds and heavy rain Tuesday night in the “atmospheric river” of the Bay Area forecast, and the National Meteorological Service is advising residents to prepare basic things, recharge their phones and prepare for emergencies.

Rainfall will begin in earnest at about 4 p.m., and the city and surrounding areas will be subject to wind management advice beginning at 7 p.m., Tuesday morning, 7 p.m., with an expected speed of 20-30 mph and 50-60 mph for each gust. This NWS meteorologist, Brayden Murdock, says it will be even stronger than last week’s wind event and could lead to further power outages, fallen trees and flooding.

The risk of flooding is greater in areas where burns occurred last summer due to major fires, such as the SCU Complex Fire in South Bay, and in sloping areas such as the Berkeley Hills, they may be prone to wetted loose soil and falling trees. An NWS lightning flood it takes effect at 4 p.m., covering the East Bay Hills

Murdock said the last atmospheric river was about a year ago, and it’s typically a heavy rainy season, but the current “wet season” was much drier than in recent years. Berkeley’s closest monitor recorded 2.49 inches of rain at Oakland International Airport – significantly lower than the annual average since 1948 – at 10.79 inches, and Murdock said it was about half of last year’s figure.

“We’re seeing a distinct moisture band from the equator that gets up around us,” he said, explaining that Tuesday’s 4-inch forecast rainfall of Berkeley could nearly triple that amount this season. “A lot, not too much time.”

The strongest showers will be from Tuesday evening to Wednesday, with continuous (but not so heavy) rainfall until Thursday.

Wind and rain can create dangerous conditions in the bay area, especially for drivers. Road conditions can be dangerous, power lines can fall, visibility is likely to be poor, and water flowing through the streets can create the opportunity for hydroplaning.

A little silver lining? The cool temperatures during the week, which reported alpine news in the North Gulf area, will not sink even lower, but will be slightly isolated by rain, Murdock said. The temperature usually hovers around 50 degrees, even overnight.

It is important that residents be prepared with “bags” in case they need to be emptied and recharge their phones or radios to access information in the event of a power outage. Murdock also suggested making emergency plans for pets and making sure to put masks in a “go bag” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While many forecast models are tied up in the atmospheric river, Murdock says they mostly agree that the rain will die before the weekend and the temperature stays on the cool side. More rainfall is expected in the coming weeks, but “nowhere near as strong” as Tuesday’s atmospheric river.