Storm forecast to hit Bay Area on Thursday

National Weather Service officials say rain is expected to hit the region Thursday and last into the weekend in the Bay Area.

Meteorologist Charles Bell said the storm will bring less rain than a large one that hit the region in December, but it will be substantial.

The North Bay and coastal mountain ranges are expected to get the most rain. Rain will start falling in the North Bay on Thursday and move south through the entire Bay Area by Friday morning, according to weather service officials. The rain will continue through the weekend.

There is a chance of urban and small stream flooding, especially in spots in the North Bay, weather service officials said. Bell asked residents to help prevent flooding by clearing storm drains.

Heavy rain is expected at times along coastal mountain ranges.

Wind speeds will increase during the day Thursday and gusty conditions are expected late Thursday and Friday. Winds may gust in excess of 40 mph and gusts at higher elevations may exceed 60 mph, weather service officials said.

Marine conditions are expected to be hazardous because of the gusty winds and building seas, according to the weather service.

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