SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After a bone-dry February, the storm door has swung wide open for the Bay Area in March with the first of a pair of winter fronts set to arrive late Monday, triggering six days of stormy weather.
The National Weather Service predicted periods of light to moderate rain beginning Monday evening and picking up intensity overnight, setting up for a wet and chaotic morning commute on Bay Area roadways Tuesday.
Rainfall amounts will be as much as two inches in the North Bay, up to three inches in the coastal mountains and an inch in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
The back edge of the storm will also be packing colder temperatures that will drop the snow level to 4,000 feet, meaning there may be snow flurries again on Mt. Diablo and Mt. Hamilton.
In the Sierra, Tuesday’s storm has triggered a winter storm warning for the Lake Tahoe area from 1 p.m. Tuesday until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predicted that snow accumulations over 8,000 feet will range from 8 to 16 inches with localized amounts up to 21 inches.
At 5,000 feet, 3-5 inches of snow were possible as the front moves through. Forecasters warned of travel delays Tuesday and Tuesday night due to blowing snow.
A second, colder storm system will be moving into Northern California Wednesday evening through early Saturday morning. It will be packing more rain, snow, colder temperatures and wind than the Monday-Wednesday storm front.
Forecasters say another 2-3 inches could fall in the coastal mountains with another 2 inches along the Bay Area shoreline.
In the Sierra, a t the highest elevations, a few feet of snow were possible from early Thursday through Saturday morning while the Sierra valleys could pick up as much as a foot of snow.