Fast-Moving Storm Brings Strong Winds, More Rain To Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A fast-moving cold front brought more rain and strong winds to the greater Bay Area Friday morning, impacting holiday travel by slowing freeway traffic and leading to numerous flight delays.

Rain started falling heavily in the North Bay early Friday morning, arriving in San Francisco by about 5 a.m.

There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, some of which may produce small hail. Highs will be in the lower 50s. Southeast winds will reach 20 to 30 mph before becoming west reaching 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.

The storm hitting the Bay Area resulted in flight delays and some cancellations at San Francisco International Airport, according to
an SFO spokesman.

The delays are averaging about 45 minutes and so far airlines have reported 36 flight cancellations, which are affecting arrivals and departures about equally, mostly for short-haul flights up and down the West Coast, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said.

While traffic was fairly light around the Bay Area with many people having the day off for the Christmas holiday, there were still some accidents during the rainy weather. Crashes on northbound I-800 in San Jose and an earlier accident on eastbound I-580 in Hayward shut down multiple lanes.

Another driver lost control of his car on a wet I-680 in Fremont Friday afternoon. The car tumbled down an embankment and ended up next to someone’s backyard.

The driver, John Wheelwright, escaped with barely a scratch.

He said his biggest concern is finding one of his dogs who got spooked and ran out of the car.

“She’s a great dog and that’s just all I’m worried about,” said Wheelwright. “I couldn’t go to the hospital knowing she’s down here somewhere.”

Wheelwright managed to grab hold of his other dog before penny ran away. Penny is a 10-year-old dachshund-spaniel mix and still has not been located.

Crews in San Leandro had a mess on their hands when a tree was uprooted by the storm. It happened on Lorraine Boulevard and Pershing Drive.

The tree nearly landed on a house across the street. PG&E crews responded to the scene and say it didn’t cause any major outages.

The National Weather Service says the rain will spread southeast through the day and overnight.

Winter storm warnings will be in effect in the Sierra Nevada and many other mountain areas including Southern California.

Forecasters expect snow to fall at very low levels up and down the state. Chains are required on both I-80 and U.S. Highway 50.

The San Francisco Bay Area, for example, could see scattered snow showers at elevations as low as 2,000 to 3,000 feet Friday night and early Saturday.

Snow levels in the mountains from Santa Barbara County south to San Diego County will drop as low as 3,000 feet.

Many burn areas from the Central Coast south to Los Angeles County will be under flash flood watches.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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