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Impending cold front prompts Bay Area freeze watch; Rain, gusty winds on the way

Wednesday morning First Alert weather forecast with Jessica Burch
Wednesday morning First Alert weather forecast with Jessica Burch 02:19

SAN FRANCISCO -- A cold front passing through Northern California will bring wind and rain late Wednesday to the North Bay that will spread to the rest of the Bay Area by Thursday, bringing frigid temperatures along with it.

The National Weather Service issued a freeze watch for parts of the North Bay and areas of Monterey and San Benito counties in effect Thursday night through Friday morning. Temperatures were expected to dip into the 20s along with low- and mid-30s in other parts of the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Meanwhile, the weather service said most of the Bay Area will see at least 1 inch of rain Thursday, with some areas in the North Bay and the coast of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties seeing 1.5 inches or more.

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The heaviest predicted rainfall is for just south of the Big Sur area and north of Bodega Bay and Santa Rosa, where up to 3 inches of rain could fall.

San Jose is expected to get the least rain - between .5-1 inch - with most areas looking at 1-1.5 inches.

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The moisture will be accompanied Thursday by wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph, with the highest gusts along the coast and in the higher elevations.

Forecasters predict Friday will be dry in most areas -- but perhaps some early morning rain on the coast in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, with rain returning for the weekend for the entire region.

Weekend rainfall totals will be significantly smaller, with most areas forecast to receive a half-inch or less.

In addition, inland areas could see some frosty mornings between Wednesday and Monday.

Saturday morning is forecast to see the coldest temperatures, with most of the Bay Area dipping into the mid to low 30s. The exceptions will be in San Francisco and in Big Sur, where the overnight lows are expected to remain in the 40s.

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