|7th Ave., Santa Cruz|
"Santa Cruz County received a pretty heavy soaking of rain Thursday -- and it's only the beginning, with another storm expected to hit Friday.
Santa Cruz got soaked with .71 inches on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The most rain in the county was seen in Ben Lomond with 1.17 inches, and in Scotts Valley with 1.10 inches, according to Sentinel weather reporters. Watsonville received .53 inches and Soquel .80 inches.
More than an inch of rain fell Thursday in some areas of the region, creating slippery roads and prompting a warning from the California Highway Patrol urging motorists to slow down and use caution.
Friday's storm off the California coast could bring several more inches of rain to the region, according to the weather service. The two storms are expected to double the amount of rainfall that the region has seen all season.
Forecasters say Friday's system could dump as much as 6 inches of rain on Bay Area mountains and up to 2 feet of snow in the Sierra over the weekend.
According to the weather service, Santa Rosa saw a total rainfall Thursday of .84 inches, the highest of any other Bay Area city by 4 p.m. when the service totals its rainfall for the day.
In Contra Costa County, .70 inches fell in Concord. San Jose and Oakland were both soaked with .62 inches. San Francisco received .74 inches, while Moffett Field received .54 inches.
While the overdue wet weather is welcome, forecasters say California needs much more rain and snow to make up for one of the driest rainy seasons.
"I won't say the storm door is open, but maybe we'll get into more of a routine storm pattern now," National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said....
Air travel was also affected. San Francisco Internationl Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said 47 arriving and department flights had to be canceled by 1 p.m., most of them flights up and down the West Coast. Other flights were leaving an average of 60 minutes late.
"The storm isn't that bad, but it's creating those visibility issues we sometimes have when we get these conditions out there," Yakel said.
Benjamin said the steady pace of the showers, coming on fairly dry land, will allow vegetation to absorb the rain without concerns of landslides or flash flooding."...
"Bay Area News Group contributed to this report." image above from Santa Cruz Sentinel, Coyro