Several people woke up to light patches of snow at low elevations in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Thursday morning, and forecasters say more is on the way.
Parts of the Bay Area could see several inches of snow on Thursday night, with an intense cold weather system making its way through the region. Heavy rain, snow and strong gusts of wind will continue Thursday night through Friday morning.
“We don’t often get this cold air coming in from California,” Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said of the “anomalous” storm.
Current radars show that the winter storm has already made landfall in Sonoma County and will continue to spread across the Bay Area.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings and wind warnings across the Bay Area Thursday night, with snow, sleet, thunderstorms and gusty winds in the forecast that could make Friday morning’s commute unsafe. fair. Parts of the region also have an overnight frost warning on Thursday and Friday morning.
“We’re seeing snow already falling in northwest California, all the way to the coast in Humboldt County and Mendocino, and that’s sinking into the Bay Area,” NWS meteorologist Brian Garcia said in a video statement.
Temperatures in Santa Rosa dropped to 28 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, matching the previous record lows on this day in 2022, 1955 and 1911, said the NWS.
Snow and gusty winds caused power outages across the Bay Area this week and closed Highway 101 for power line repairs. As of Thursday night, more than 22,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers were without power.
“One of our biggest concerns is the fact that winds will increase as the system moves through the night,” Bingaman said. “It’s a cold air mass, so it’s going to be cold in the morning. If people lose power because trees were knocked down and impacted the power line, that’s going to be too cold for people.”
Wind gusts are estimated to reach up to 40 mph at lower elevations and up to 50 mph in the mountains. Bingaman said that if there are widespread outages, residents could be without power for days.
Garcia said the heaviest snowfall would likely be above 2,000 to 2,500 feet, though flakes can descend as far as the valley floor and coastline.
“There is a probability that we could see snow across the valley and even on the coast, but we have a very, very low probability, I would say around 5%, that we will see any snow accumulation on the coast,” Garcia said.
A first round of snow hit the Santa Cruz Mountains Thursday morning, totaling 3 inches of snow at higher elevations.
“Be prepared. If you don’t have to go out and drive tomorrow morning – don’t,” Garcia said. safe. Make sure you stay safe.
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