SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Snow is visible on Mt. Hamilton Wednesday morning as the Bay Area braces for the next round of a winter storm that’s already brought destructive winds and icy cold temperatures. More snow is certainly on the way and we spoke to KRON4 meteorologists John Shrable and Kyla Grogan about where we might see it, and if we might even get a few flakes in San Francisco.
“We have snow above 1,100 feet in the mountains above San Jose and the South Bay,” Shrable explained. “The Santa Cruz mountains and the Diablo Range both seeing some areas of light snowfall being reported up there this morning.”
According to Shrable, the next round of the storm is expected to dump over 100 inches of new snowfall on Sierra Nevada resorts. But with icy cold temperatures forecast for the rest of the week, the Bay Area might be in for a historic snowfall that could see areas like the Oakland Hills and even San Francisco get snow Thursday.
“We’ll have a deep freeze tonight into tomorrow morning that will allow snowfall as low as 1,000 feet, maybe even around 500 feet,” Shrable explained. “If that happens, could see some snow in some areas like San Francisco.”
“Tonight, snow is expected to remain above 1,000 feet,” Shrable continued. “That would put it across the Santa Cruz Mountains and parts of the North Bay. Tomorrow evening, Thursday night into Friday morning could see it falling even lower than that and see snow piling up in some even lower elevations that could include a few neighborhoods in San Francisco, higher up.”
However, there are varying views about whether snow might actually be seen in the City by the Bay.
“The big question is will we see snow in San Francisco? My answer is – you might see it at some of the peaks around the Bay like Mt. Tam, but you will most likely not be seeing any at the surface in San Francisco and the reason for that is the expected snow levels,” explained KRON4 Meteorologist Kyla Grogan. “The cold air combined with precipitation begins its arrival Wednesday afternoon, but the biggest push of precipitation and cold air is expected late Thursday evening into Friday morning and at that time the snow level is expected to drop to about 1,500 feet.”
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“Mt. Tamalpais, as an example, stands at 2,579 feet at its peak so a bit of snow is possible at the highest elevations there,” Grogan continued. “By contrast, Twin Peaks in San Francisco stands at only 922 feet. So, at Twin Peaks I would expect that you might see a snowflake or two, but accumulation would be unlikely as it’s just not high enough to sustain it.”
According to Grogan, snow is far more likely in the Bay Area’s higher elevations.
“Having said that, some areas that rarely see significant accumulation will be in play with this system,” she explained. “That includes the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Santa Lucia Mountains and the coastal ranges in Sonoma County and some of our East Bay peaks too. The Sonoma Coastal Mountain Range and the Santa Clara Hills are under a Winter Weather Advisory to reflect those chances through 10 a.m. Thursday, and then a Winter Storm Watch where the chances are greater for higher snow totals begins Thursday into Friday.”
So, while views vary on the possibility of snow in San Francisco, the consensus is that we’re in for some interesting weather this week. Already, we’ve seen widespread power outages and a tree fall on the Bay Bridge due to high winds. With more wind, cold temps, rain, and possibly snow on the way, this week’s storm is just getting started.
“It’s going to be a very interesting storm to watch,” according to Grogan.