SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – After days of sunshine, Mother Nature flipped the switch on Saturday as a storm churned to life in the icy waters of the Gulf Of Alaska moved into Northern California.
Forecasters said that by Monday, the storm will have dropped a half inch to an inch or more of rain the Bay Area and three feet or more above 7,000 feet in the Sierra.
The cold frontal rains reached the North Bay first and then moved into San Francisco and the central Bay Area.
The rain began as light showers and then would become more of a steady rain by the evening hours and into Sunday.
With snow levels of 2,000 to 3,000 feet in the Bay Area, residents could wake up Sunday with a dusting of snow on Mt. Diablo and Mt. Hamilton.
The storm will trigger sporadic thundershowers and downpour until it moves on Monday.
The brunt of the storm will be unleashed on the Sierra, where ski resorts are already enjoying near record seasonal snow totals.
A winter storm warning had been issued for the Sierra beginning late Saturday and running through Monday.
The heaviest snowfall was expected Saturday night through Sunday night.
The chilly air will lower snow levels to around 1500 feet in the northern mountains and around 2000 to 2500 feet in the northern Sierra.
The California Highway Patrol warned of travel delays with chain controls and slick roads. Poor visibility due to snow and gusty winds could also make travel hazardous.
Snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches were forecasted above 3000 feet, 1 to 2 feet above 4000 feet and up to 3 feet above 6000 feet near pass levels.