In the Bay Area, for at least the last decade, when anyone raised a complaint about a rainy day spoiling their plans, there was only one correct response: “Yeah, but we need it.”  

The atmospheric rivers, pineapple expresses and bomb cyclones of January of 2023 altered that conversational pattern. It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing.  

As the third week of the January comes to an end, weather forecasters predict drier conditions ahead, as my colleague Olivia Wynkoop describes here.  But this is the Bay Area where change is rapid and laurels – no matter of what sort – cannot be rested on. Even if the ground is still soggy and the reservoirs filling as Eli Walsh reports, it won’t be long until the fire season starts again.  

While most of 2022’s wildfires were later in the year, the first Bay Area incident reported by CalFire was the Alpine Fire in Sonoma, according to the information gathered in our wildfire information hub. It wasn’t a large fire but it burned for five days near Monte Rio and consumed 21 acres

But even if fire, smoke, and drought lie ahead, enjoy the interlude of sunshine.  

We need it.