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Scattered showers may mean wet evening commute

Sandbags available for Palo Alto residents

Bay Area commuters may have a wet commute on the way home this evening, depending on where they are driving, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

Heavier showers are forecast for this afternoon and this evening, although the showers will be scattered, forecaster Steve Anderson said.

"We're not done yet," Anderson said. "It will be another wet one this afternoon, here and there."

Forecasters cannot say how much rain will fall this afternoon since the showers will be scattered, Anderson said.

The rain that fell Wednesday night and this morning was about what was expected.

San Francisco reported a quarter-inch of rain, while Oakland reported .23 inches, Anderson said. San Jose saw .10 inches, while Concord received .27 inches and Santa Rosa reported .78 inches, he said.

A gauge on Mt. Tamalpais collected 2.86 inches, he said.

Winds gusted up to 50 mph early this morning in the North Bay mountains, Anderson said.

Today on the coast, a high surf warning goes into effect at 4 p.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. Friday for the Bay Area, according to Anderson.

Waves of 20 to 30 feet are forecast for some areas such as Mavericks, a popular surfing location near Half Moon Bay, Anderson said.

At Ocean Beach, waves could reach 15 feet, he said.

The surf conditions could be deadly for anyone except professional surfers, Anderson said. He also warned people to avoid being near shore.

"Be advised to stay well back from the water the next day or two," Anderson said.

Palo Alto residents can prepare for rain this season by picking up free sandbags at several locations in the city, according to city officials.

Sandbags are available at Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive, and Rinconada Tennis Courts, 777 Embarcadero Road. The Santa Clara Valley Water District will be maintaining an inventory at the Palo Alto Airport.

Residents do not need to bring shovels or other tools to pick up sandbags at these locations.

There is no limit on the number of sandbags that can be taken to a single residence, but there is a limit on how many bags per vehicle trip (10 per passenger vehicle and 20 per commercial vehicle).

For a map of sandbag locations, click here.

The city is holding a Sandbag Day on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Municipal Services Center, 3201 E. Bayshore, where volunteers and city staff will be available to help load sandbags into vehicles.

For more storm information, visit cityofpaloalto.org/storms.

Related content:

Federal, local officials gear up for coming El Nino

Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and agencies roll out storm plans

Storm preparations underway in Palo Alto

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