Storm expected to end city’s dry spell 

San Franciscans comfortable with bicycle rides and softball games this year should dig out their umbrellas this week, as The City’s abnormally low rainfall is expected to catch up to normal levels by Sunday.

The National Weather Service predicts the arrival of a storm early Wednesday morning that should dump more than 3.75 inches of rain by the time it ends, sometime around Sunday, NWS meteorologist Steve Anderson said Monday. It will be the first rainfall in almost a month.

"We’ve had a period of high pressure centered over the West for a prolonged period of time," Anderson said.

The Bay Area is at 72 percent of its normal rainfall, Anderson said, but the extra inches should bring the level to normal.

The National Weather Service was unable to predict whether ski enthusiasts will get the powder in Lake Tahoe they have anxiously been awaiting. Anderson said snow levels will likely be at about 7,000 feet during this week’s storm, Predicting snow levels are a "huge problem to deal with. It’s difficult to forecast them beyond five days," Anderson said.

Meanwhile, San Franciscans can prepare for a wet week and weekend, clearing by Monday, with another storm due around the middle of next week, Anderson said. Thursday will also see gusty winds, which means power outages are likely, "so it would be a good idea to have a backup alarm clock," Anderson said.

amartin@examiner.com

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