Wintry Storm Approaches as Bay Area Chill Continues
Let’s turn now to what could happen next. A storm is on the way, and forecasters say rain could begin late this afternoon from San Francisco north. The weather system isn’t a big deal in rainfall terms, with less than an inch expected. But the weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of the Bay Area. The storm could bring 2 to 4 inches of snow to elevations between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above sea level and 6 inches to areas above 3,000 feet. The National Weather Service summary of the impact: Roadways above 2,500 feet will become snow or slush covered and slippery.”
Where are those places above 2,000 feet? Mount Hamilton (just over 4,200 feet) and the surrounding Diablo Range to the north, west, and south; Mount Diablo (3,849 feet); the Santa Cruz Mountains; the Coast Range up the Peninsula; and Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. The Berkeley-Oakland Hills top out at 1,900 feet.
So: A lot of us will see snow on the surrounding peaks, and a few of us will drive up to see if there’s enough of the frozen stuff to have a snowball fight.
Of course, if it snows in the hills, what are the chances we’ll see some at sea level. Very, very small.
The last time it snowed down to the water was in February 1976. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub recounted that in a very cool little blog feature he did a couple years ago, “A Century of Snow in San Francisco.” He put together a slideshow from the Chron’s photo archives going back to the 1880s. The history he relates confirms snow is a rare event in lowland Bay Area locations; but when it does happen, boy, is it beautiful.
And if you need more proof, here’s some from fellow News Fix blogger Jon Brooks: “When It Snowed in San Francsico: The Photos.”Related