(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

First major storm of rainy reason to hit Thursday

A potent early season storm is expected to bring rain, wind and coastal flooding to the Bay Area starting Thursday and lasting through part of Saturday, officials with the National Weather Service said.

The wet weather will begin Thursday over the North Bay and spread over the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area Friday. Rain may linger into Saturday until a second system brings rain and wind late Saturday into Sunday.

Rain on Friday will be moderate to heavy causing slick roads and localized ponding, conditions that will make driving difficult, especially during commute times.

South to southwest winds will range from 20 to 30 mph with 40 to 45 mph gusts near the coast and 45 to 55 mph gusts in the Bay Area hills and mountains, which will make driving difficult.

The winds could cause isolated power outages.

Weather officials are encouraging people to stay off beaches, coastal rocks and jetties to avoid dangerous surf.

The storm could cause coastal flooding due to high surf, high tides and summer beach slopes. Very low-lying coastal areas are at the highest risk for flooding.

By the end of the weekend, more than an inch of rain could fall in some spots in Oakland, up to two inches in Santa Rosa, just over an inch in San Francisco and three-quarters to an inch in San Jose.

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