SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An “impactful” storm is on its way to the Bay Area and will bring rain, wind, cold temperatures and even low-elevation snow to the region this week, according to the National Weather Service. While an initial model forecasted snow at elevations of around 1,500 feet, a revised forecast is predicting snowfall as low as 500 feet.
According to KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan, snow is just the tip of the iceberg with this week’s weather.
“This week’s weather system has it all!” Grogan said. “Wind, cold, rain and even a little snow for the peaks around the Bay Area.”
After a sunny and mild Presidents Day, the opening rounds of the storm are predicted to start impacting the Bay Area on Tuesday afternoon when a wind advisory kicks in.
Bay Area wind advisory
“Today we will notice the cooler temps as the wind picks up this afternoon,” Grogan said. “We have a wind advisory in place for the entire Bay Area starting at 1 p.m. today.”
How windy will it get?
“I’m expecting wind ranging from 25 to 35 mph and gusts up at elevation could be in the 50-mph range,” Grogan said. “So now is the time to make sure that things around your home are secure and weather ready.”
The Northern California Red Cross also recommends securing outdoor items during strong winds, including:
- hanging plants
- bird feeders
- wind chimes
- outdoor furniture
- trash bins
“These can all blow over or away during high winds, which are headed our way this afternoon and evening,” the Red Cross cautioned in a tweet.
With high winds expected, PG&E is urging people to be cautious in the event of downed tree branches, which could be hiding downed power lines.
“Assume all wires are energized and extremely dangerous,” said PG&E in a tweet.
Tuesday’s wind is expected to give way to freezing temperatures as we head into Wednesday and Thursday.
Winter storm warning for the Bay Area
“Overnight tonight will be chilly and breezy, but temperatures really start to plummet overnight Wednesday when we have a freeze watch kicking in through Thursday morning,” said Grogan. “Those freezing temperatures are expected in our North Bay Mountains and Valleys, the East Bay Hills and Valleys, and the Santa Clara Valley along with in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The expectation is that many spots will be at or below freezing.”
But wind and cold could just be the beginning. According to Grogan’s forecast, rain and snow will arrive midweek.
“And then here comes the rain!” she said. “Overnight Wednesday we’ll see rain start to roll through. It will be minimal at first but the temperatures dropping below freezing that night means that snow is possible up at our peaks. In fact, to the south of us in the Santa Lucia Mountains there is a winter storm watch in effect starting tonight through Thursday morning.”
How long will the Bay Area storm last?
The storm that arrives today is expected to stick around at least until the end of the week, but that might not be the end of this round of winter weather.
“This system has two impulses to it, so while the rain starts off spotty and mostly limited to the coast Wednesday evening, by Thursday we’ll see the rain spread throughout the entire Bay Area and it will continue into Friday,” said Grogan. “We should see some clearing as we head into the weekend, but another system is headed our way Sunday evening. So keep the warm coats and umbrellas at the ready!”