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. 

Joe Dworetzky is a second career journalist. He practiced law in Philadelphia for more than 35 years, representing private and governmental clients in commercial litigation and insolvency proceedings. Joe served as City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Ed Rendell and from 2009 to 2013 was one of five members of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission with responsibility for managing the city’s 250 public schools. He moved to San Francisco in 2011 and began writing fiction and pursuing a lifelong interest in editorial cartooning. Joe earned a Master’s in Journalism from Stanford University in 2020. He covers Legal Affairs and writes long form Investigative stories. His occasional cartooning can be seen in Bay Area Sketchbook. Joe encourages readers to email him story ideas and leads at