(KRON) — Residents around the Bay Area woke up Friday morning to the majestic view of seeing fresh white snow topping mountains across the region. As Bay Area residents took to social media to share photos and videos of the rare snowfall, many people may become tempted to take a drive up to Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais, or another Bay area peak to take a look for themselves.
However, weather experts and officials have advised caution if you’re considering taking a “snow day” and getting close up to the fresh, Bay Area powder. With impressive low elevation snow and rain totals across the Bay Area, preliminary reports from the National Weather Service indicate that Mount Hamilton is reporting 14 inches of snow and drifts up to 4 feet at around 4,200 feet of elevation. Saratoga meanwhile, saw 8.5 inches of snow, while Cloverdale saw 3 inches and Kentfield saw 1.5, according to KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan.
Grogan also urges caution when it comes to visiting the snow.
“As the skies clear a bit this afternoon our snowy peaks should be visible to many in the Bay Area. You may be tempted to chase a little snow today, but before deciding to do that just a word of caution: many of our roadways leading to places with snow are closed today due to hazardous travel conditions including many trees that were brought down overnight,” Grogan said.
Indeed, state parks at two of the most prominent locations where we’ve seen snow this week, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tam, have closed Friday, because of the snow. The upper mountain at Mount Tamalpais State Park has been closed until the roads are clear of snow, the park announced in a social media post.
In Contra Costa County, Mount Diablo State Park also announced paved roads in the park were closed “due to snow at low elevations, trees across roads, and trees on power lines.”
In Santa Clara County, the park service advised people to “be sure to check the road conditions” before heading to a county park, while the Santa Clara County Fire Department urged motorists to “avoid travel on local road and highways if at all possible.”
Meanwhile, Highway 17 has been closed in all directions Friday morning, making it impossible for people in San Jose and Santa Cruz to even reach the snow at the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains.
“Highway 17 is closed,” said a Caltrans representative on Twitter. “It’s still snowing pretty heavy. Multiple trees down. Multiple vehicles stuck.”
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So what should you do if you want to get out in the snow?
“My advice is, enjoy the view of the snow, but stay put today if you can,” said Grogan. “This will give our emergency responders time to clear the roadways of downed trees and snow and ice.”
As for when it will be a good time to go out and visit the snow?
“We should dry out a bit more on Saturday before another system starts to impact northern California Sunday evening,” Grogan advised.
The good news for snow hunters is that plenty more snow is on the way, if not to the Bay Area, at least to our mountain regions.
“This next system will bring more high elevation snow and rain our way,” said Grogan. “It will also bring another round of heavy snow to the Sierra.”