The National Weather Service Bay Area on Thursday was increasingly optimistic about rain in the forecast for the region, noting some areas could get as much as a tenth of an inch of rainfall this weekend.
The agency said earlier this week it was tracking potential for rain overnight heading into Sunday, with a storm set to head south from the Pacific Northwest. The North Bay is expected to experience most of the regional rainfall, with even higher chances of rainfall as you move further north past the Sacramento Valley.
That's particularly good news for firefighters battling California's largest active blaze, and the second-biggest in state history. The Dixie Fire, which burned 960,581 acres and was 86% contained as of Thursday night, could experience as much as three-quarters of an inch of rainfall, according to National Weather Service Sacramento projections from Wednesday.
The Caldor Fire, which burned 219,267 acres and was 71% contained as of Thursday night, could also experience some rain. The National Weather Service Sacramento projected between a tenth and a quarter of an inch of rainfall in South Lake Tahoe.
All of the Bay Area is in severe or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as is nearly 88% of the state. Most reservoirs in Northern California are well below historical averages, although state officials have stopped shy of issuing mandatory water restrictions.
The wet weather isn't expected to last long. National Weather Service Science Officer Warren Blier told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that the Bay Area could experience its first seasonal Diablo winds on Sunday night heading into Monday morning. Those dry offshore winds can spread wildfires and smoke, but Blier said these particular winds are "kind of moderate concern at this point."