Brewing storm poised to batter Bay Area

The Bay Area can expect heavy rain and strong winds that could uproot trees, down power lines and cause flooding and mudslides due to a strong weather system starting late Wednesday and continuing through Thursday, National Weather Service officials said.

The North Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains can expect the heaviest rainfall. The weather service reports that the North Bay may receive 3 to 5.5 inches of rain. The Santa Cruz Mountains can expect 2.5 to 5 inches.

The immediate area surrounding San Francisco Bay can expect 1.5 to 3 inches of rain. Inland areas and the Monterey Bay area can expect 1 to 2 inches of rain, with the Santa Lucia Mountains expecting 2 to 4 inches.

Weather service officials are predicting strong winds will begin late Wednesday and last through Thursday night. Winds are expected to reach 20 to 35 mph from the south with gusts of up to 50 mph expected along the coast and mountain ridges.

A weaker storm will arrive in the Bay Area tonight and last through Monday, mainly impacting an area from the Santa Cruz Mountains northward.