Cold, Snow To Put Icy Grip On Bay Area Starting Thursday Evening

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / BCN) — Cold, wet weather will once again put an icy grip on the Bay Area as we head toward this weekend, bringing with it a chance that San Francisco residents could see some snow, forecasters said Wednesday.

Talk began swirling in recent days that snow could drop on San Francisco for the first time in 35 years.

National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said that while snow would likely fall at elevations lower than last weekend, it was still too soon to know for certain if there would be flurries in the city.

If the coldest predictions materialize, “In some form, people at or near sea level will see snow in the air,” Benjamin said.

A southern-moving unstable cold front carrying moisture was expected to coast into the Bay Area come late Thursday, Benjamin said.

The front was expected to sit over the Bay Area and by Sunday morning bring record-breaking cold temperatures, with 20s to lower 30s forecast over the North Bay valleys, upper 20s to lower 30s around most of the San Francisco Bay shoreline southward through the Santa Clara and Salinas valleys. Higher elevation spots were expected to mostly be in the 20s.

A Freeze Watch was issued by the weather service for late Friday night through Saturday morning for the North Bay valleys, which were expected to be the first to feel the effects of the arctic blast.

Last weekend, snow blanketed the Bay Area’s highest peaks, dusting Mount Tamalpais and Mount Diablo as it descended to elevations of 1,500 feet. The storm system dumped about 4 inches of rain on San Francisco.

Benjamin said the coming front would drop snow at even lower elevations, but added that predictions of snow below 1,000 feet would be “hit or miss.”

The weather service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow in the North Bay mountains from 4 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday. Snow accumulations of 1 inch down to 1,000 feet with 2 to 4 inches above 1,500 feet elevation. Six inches or more for the higher hills above 2,500 feet.

A Winter Storm Watch was in effect from Thursday evening through
Friday evening for elevations above 1,000 feet for the East Bay hills, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the mountains of Monterey County.
Snow accumulations were forecast at 1 inch down to 1,000 feet with 3 to 6 inches above 2,000 feet elevation. Nine inches or more were possible for elevations above 3,000 feet.

Storms bring snow to downtown San Francisco every couple of decades, with the most recent recorded snowfall in 1976, Benjamin said.

Since then, the weather service has received reports of snow mixed with rain “most every year in some key places,” such as Twin Peaks, Benjamin said.

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

  • jorge p

    don’t even think about going to the top of mt tam because the authorities will have the road blocked at the Y at panoramic road and the gate,also they will have the road gated at bolinas rd just past alpine dam.30 years ago when it snowed on mt tam the park police did not exist and the road was always open now because of the police state we live in that has all changed.

    • libertarianman

      Police state? I think it’s more of a case of be careful what you ask for. In our “sue crazy’ country, the park police is probably scared silly of someone getting hurt and then getting sued for not closing the road. 30 years ago people didn’t sue because the coffee was too “hot” or for all those other silly things.

    • D

      I believe the police are trying to protect idiots like you.

      • JM in San Diego CA

        D: Please stop pretending the Nanny State is a fiction. The extent to which such “protections” exist amounts to unacceptable control.

      • orangemtl

        It’s SNOW, not molten lava. Happens all the time in, oh, about 30 states.
        Make sure they cordon off the parks, when all of those dangerous dandelions appear.

      • Kevin

        D=Dianne, Donna, Dumb Dumb? – A useless sheep that loves our feminized, sue-happy, nanny-state. Enjoy your special unappreciated rights while you have them….

      • oakfest

        orangemtl, you can make fun all you want but there was that time in San Francisco when seed pods started taking over peoples bodies.

  • kc

    A few years back we drove to the top of tan and experienced it snowing.. no gates, but it wasn’t a lot of snow. Last weekend was a decent amount, considering the area, and it’s not like the State Parks has snow removal equipment for Tam.
    That road is narrow and windy and there are too many idiots out there. But why not let 4 wheel drive up?
    And I do remember in snowing in Larkspur in the early 70’s, almost at Sea Level where we lived.

  • javaluvr

    I was on a dinner cruise in SF on Xmas day and it snowed like a blizzard….not sure where the author gets 35 years….sticking on the ground is one thing, snowing is snowing…

    • Kelly

      no, no, that was confetti blowing around from the gay pride parade

    • jim

      javaluvr, your memory is wrong.

  • Cassandra 251

    Uh, oh! Hell has frozen over. Watch out!

  • Common Sense

    Global Normal!

    • Philip

      Brilliant! “Global Normal”; I love it!!!

  • This Guy

    How’s that global warming treating you San Fran…

  • TxVet

    Is Al Gore giving a speech there? His hot air seems to attract colder weather.

  • Mr Wolf

    I blame Al Gore

  • Baraka Flaka Flame

    Think of all that chilled fruit! yum!

  • Lee Vanden Brink

    Thanks Al Gore… Need sme quick laughs about today’s news…

  • sirandrew

    This is frightening !
    Hell is freezing over.

  • Jon

    I was there for the previous snowfall, had just moved to town the day before. I told the cabbie who drove me to my apartment that I was going to so a snow dance when I got settled in. He laughed. The next day, I laughed.

  • Buckley

    How about bicyclists? They can go up the fire road?

  • Chris

    See? Hell IS freezing over!!

    • Mark Matis

      If only!

      But maybe one of these days…

  • Jim

    This report is wrong about the last time snow fell in San Francisco. I was in SF less than thirty years ago with my daughter (who is not yet thirty) when it snowed.

  • jeff myers

    God does have a great sense of humor. Snow and freezing temperatures freeze the apple blossums and cancel the Washington DC global warming conference 2 years ago,. Snow and freezing temps cancel the world wide global warning conf in Stockholm last year.
    Now it snows in San Fransissyco. I love God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • God

      Dear jeff myers:

      Thanks for the props. However, if you had been paying attention in science class, you’d know that global warming results in EXTREMES of temperatures and meteorological conditions, both HOT and COLD. The overall trend is toward WARMTH, but episodes of extreme COLD can occur as well. Now get your finger out of your nose and apologize to everybody.

      Your pal,

      • Pete Octavian

        So no matter what the temperature or climate, its still global warming and cannot be refuted?

        So basically your stance is: “No matter what happens, I’m right.”

        That’s a convenient little viewpoint. I wish I’d come up with something so ingenious. Hot, cold, inclimate, normal, its all evidence of global warming. Tires low on air? Global warming. Hungry in the morning? Global warming.

      • JT

        Dear God

        Wrong class you cited. That was political science class……..

    • Jared Larson

      San Francisco is such a beautiful city–I wish I could be there with my camera to capture the moment before it all melts off. Here in central PA, we have plenty of white, too much in fact.

      Maybe if the globe would just heat up a little more, San Francisco Bay would freeze solid.

      • Johnny LaJolla

        Just got back from a week long business trip to the city. What a bum ridden, chronic stinking cesspool that place is.

  • menzaman

    Not the first time it has snowed in Frisco, nor will it be the last. They find petrified forests under glaciers, imagine that! Deserts where oceans used to be? OMG! Chill out people – remember that someone is always being paid or funded for their weather terrorism. Global warming / global cooling, ying and yang. Like my meteorology professor stated “climate change happens, adapt people!”

  • Joe

    It snowed in San Francisco on December 21, 1998 — 12 years ago.

    • Sally

      The only flakes here were the ones who vote con-DEM each election.

  • Nye

    You havee nooo type life ! why do yuhh sit here && Comment diss stuff ? Smhh olddd peoplee these days ….

    • Dee

      You are so funny, commenting that people commenting here have no lives What a dip!

  • lucy

    Yup, unfortunately for people like you; the rest of us have to suffer. You are the one who will sue because of your foolish judgements.

    Hence, I’m with closing the road for sure!!

  • Snow in San Francisco? James Wanliss—Resisting Green Dragon-Environmentalism-Science-Religion-Complexity-Physics Wanliss dot Com

    […] at or near sea level will see snow in the air,” Benjamin said.Yes, it looks like there will be snow in San Francisco, or record breaking cold. The last time this happened, 35 years ago, the US Congress was having […]

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  • Dr.s

    Might as well put a couple no scent and no smokings signs up there too.

  • John

    Q: What are the chances 4 atmospheric molecules in 10,000 (400 PPM) control our climate?
    A: About 4 in 10,000.
    Q: Why is our government spending billions of $$$$ trying to convince us that 4 atmospheric molecules in 10,000 control our climate?
    A: __________________________ (fill in the blank)

    • GrumpyOne

      A: Guv’ment Power & Control.

  • Hank Warren

    Fake global warming, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

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