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Rain system passing thru Bay Area
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Forecasters are predicting that the rain that began to fall in the drought-stricken San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday morning may be the beginning of the longest stretch of wet weather yet this year.

The National Weather Service says a series of wet systems heading to California from the northern Pacific Ocean could bring more than an inch of rain to parts of the Bay Area — particularly the North Bay — through Wednesday.

The precipitation — including small showers, possible thunderstorms and small hail in some areas — is likely to continue through the weekend, with a brief drying trend expected on Thursday and Friday before rain chances increase again.

“For the next several days, be prepared to break out the umbrella,” weather service forecaster Bob Benjamin told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It may not be needed all the time, but you’re likely to be in a situation where you wish you had it.”

Another round of heavy rain is expected Saturday morning with lingering showers Sunday and Monday, bringing more than an inch of rain in total to some areas of the North Bay and a third to two-thirds of an inch for San Francisco. Yet another wet system is forecast to move through on Monday, the weather service said.

The precipitation is a welcome break from a drought that has gripped the entire state. San Francisco itself has received just 42 percent of its average rainfall since last summer.

Temperatures are likely to remain within the typical range, with lows in the 40s and low 50s and highs in the upper 50s and mid-60s.