FILE PHOTO by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, forecasting heavy rain and hail, the latter of which has already come and gone, according to multiple sets of ears in our Potrero Hill office. And also according to the Bay Bridge …

The NWS says the hail is expected to be up to a half-inch in diameter. How big is that? Well, check out this Hail Size Comparison Chart from the NOAA. A half-inch doesn’t sound or look so bad, compared with the baseball-size hail forecast for Oklahoma and Texas this afternoon.

The rain will last through Wednesday, the NWS says, and another storm system is due to move in Friday. But no rain this weekend, according to the forecast.

As always in these dry times, we must caution that just because you have to break out the umbrellas doesn’t mean you can start flushing your toilets with abandon again. From the San Jose Mercury News this morning:

As of 5 p.m. Monday, San Jose has received 5.60 inches of rain this rainfall season, 42 percent of normal. Oakland has received 5.49 inches of rain, 42 percent of normal, and San Francisco 10.91 inches, 51 percent of normal.

And in other drought news, according to the Palo Alto Daily News, Mountain View is set to declare a “Stage 1” water emergency, which would involve further efforts to inform the public about conservation and nonessential water use. Under the city’s plan, restrictions would be ramped up as the water shortage gets more severe:

Under a Stage 2 emergency, or 25 percent shortage, yards could not be watered between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the time to repair a broken water system would be reduced from 10 to five days. Unless done by bucket, at-home vehicle washing would also be banned.

A Stage 3 emergency, which would involve a shortage of up to 40 percent, would shut down commercial car washes that do not use re-circulating systems and prevent potable water from being used to fill pools.

Called when a shortage exceeds 40 percent, a Stage 4 emergency would provide just 24 hours to repair broken water systems and restrict irrigation of public parks, playing fields and school grounds to once per week.

Update 12:30 p.m. Video from KPIX: The hail hits the streets of San Francisco

Rain, Hail Forecast For San Francisco Bay Area 1 April,2014Jon Brooks

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