Heavy rain on Bay’s horizon

Heavy rains are expected to pound the Bay Area as the National Weather Service extended a high-surf advisory until 4 a.m. today after surfers said waves reached 50 feet along the Half Moon Bay coast.

The waves were caused by a large storm in the Pacific Northwest that moved down the California coast, said Jeff Lorens, marine program manager for the NWS Western Region.

Rain is likely today in San Francisco and on the Peninsula, with a chance of heavy downfall this afternoon that could affect the rush-hour commute, according to the NWS. Rain totals of 1 to 2 inches could be possible by Friday morning. There is a smaller chance of rain in the area for Friday, although any storms should be out of the area by Friday night.

There should be some tall but brief waves — which do not produce ideal surfing conditions — coming to the area this weekend, Lorens said. Another storm producing longer waves should hit the coast toward the middle of next week, he added.

With the great surf conditions expected, local surf shops are already licking their chops.

“It’s like, ‘Whoa — back in business,’” said Selma Flosi, manager of Half Moon Bay Board Shop. “I think it’s going to be a good [surfing] season; it’s been great since November.”

Waves died down from “monstrous” early in the week to “pretty big” Wednesday, local surfer Jeff Clark said. Even with the heavy fog dampening surfers’ visibility, Clark said surfers turned out in droves.

The day after big-wave surfer Peter Davi, 45, died while surfing at dangerous Ghost Trees in Monterey County, waves averaged around 25 feet and got as tall as 50 feet, Clark said — the largest ones he could remember since 2001.

“It’s like it always is,” said Clark, Mavericks contest director and owner of Mavericks Surf Shop. “We’re bummed, but we’re trying to catch the best wave we can, catch one for Pete.”

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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