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Bay Area storm could pass rainfall predictions, but when will it stop?

Atmospheric rivers are still flowing through the Bay Area on Saturday, and rainfall could exceed meteorologists’ initial forecasts.

The storm caused massive flooding across the region, wreaking havoc on roads, causing landslides and downed trees and power lines. Authorities are urging drivers to stay home as much as possible as conditions may continue.

The rain should start to fade around 5 or 6 p.m. Saturday, said Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and Sunday is forecast to be a completely dry day. However, the wet weather will start again for him on January 2nd and is expected to last for a week, so this will be his only break.

A moderate to strong atmospheric river is expected to hit the region again on January 4 and 5. “All the effects we’re seeing today will either recur next week or be a little worse.”
This means streams and creeks can flood and roads can become dangerous again. Bingaman said the landslides could continue even a week later, even if the rain stopped. “We can predict the rain, but we cannot predict when the soil will stop moving,” she said.
That means drivers will have to stay vigilant in the coming weeks.
Flood advisories are in effect until further notice in Sonoma County, until 2:00 PM in Contra Costa County, and until 6:00 PM in Marin County. Flood monitoring is in place in San Francisco until further notice.

The National Weather Service reported that San Francisco received 2.96 inches of rain today, breaking the 2005 record of 2.12 inches and already breaking records. Multiple landslides were reported across the city, including in Vernal Heights. Bingaman said the NWS is still counting total precipitation, but precipitation should meet or exceed initial forecasts.
The storm also created a traffic nightmare in Tahoe, where four major roads remained closed.