New Storm Smacks Bay Area With Rain, Wind, Snow

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – The third winter storm this week blew into the Bay Area early Thursday, bringing more heavy rain, wind and cold air.

The heaviest rain moved through between 10am and 4pm Thursday, earlier in the North Bay. 

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A cold air mass combined with the precipitation to dust an number of Bay Area peaks with snow, including Mt. Cobb in the North Bay and Mt. Hamilton in the South Bay.   

State Highway 29 was closed due to snow between Middletown in Lake County and Tubbs Lane north of Calistoga in Napa County, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

CHP Officer Randall Wayne said at least five cars were involved in accidents in that area. He said the vehicles likely were not equipped with chains, which were required Thursday morning, or snow tires.

There was a possibility of isolated thunderstorms along with hail across the region.

Photo Gallery: Storms Blast Northern California

The National Weather Service issued high surf and flood advisories for the Bay Area until 3pm Thursday.

Daytime high temps will range from the upper 40s to the low 50s, few mid 50s south of San Jose. Breezy to windy conditions will exist, with SW winds 15 to 30 mph. 

The conditions led to delays Thursday at San Francisco International Airport of up to 2 hours for incoming flights.

Interactive: Airport Flight Delay Tracker

Air traffic was reduced to about half its normal rate, with about 25 arrivals and departures per hour, Duty Manager Mike Towle said.

“It’s raining like heck out here,” he said. “We’re getting hit so hard that departures and arrivals are uncharacteristically low.”

Towle said there was no estimate as of 8:45 a.m. when flights would begin to be back on schedule.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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