Snow dusts Bay Area mountains again
Peaks were white-capped Sunday morning, treating residents to postcard views
After the Bay Area experienced something of a snow day last Tuesday, the region’s mountain peaks were dusted yet again with snow Sunday, treating residents to more postcard-esque views.
“Mount Umunhum in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Hamilton east of San Jose, Mount Diablo, and a little dusting up on Mount Tamalpais,” Steve Anderson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey, said of the snowfall’s reach.
Anderson said the snow made it to
elevations around 1,500 feet and up.
And while the snowcapped peaks are a rare sight in the greater Bay Area, the Sierra received such a heavy load that it forced closures of major highways through much of the weekend.
“There’s a lot of it,” Deanna Shoopman, a spokeswoman for Caltrans, said Sunday. She said about 5 feet of snow fell on much of the region from Saturday night to Sunday morning.
Eastbound Interstate 80 between the Colfax area to the Reno-Tahoe region reopened Sunday afternoon, with the California Highway Patrol providing escorts and big rigs expected to be allowed back onto the road later Sunday.
Westbound Interstate 80 was reopened from Truckee in the afternoon as well, and the full stretch of road was expected to open from Stateline, Nevada, later Sunday.
The major artery had been closed in both directions since Saturday afternoon due to “zero visibility” conditions and multiple spinouts.
The heavy snowfall continued the shutdown through part of Sunday. Shoopman said the Sierra snowfighters had been “plowing snow like crazy” to get the roads safely reopened.
It wasn’t just snow that caused trouble for folks. Hail at Pebble Beach on Sunday forced a suspension of play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Anyone planning to head to the Reno-Tahoe area today or Tuesday should leave with a full tank of gas and extra warm clothes, blankets, snacks and snow chains, Shoopman said.
Spinouts, accidents or weather can cause long delays on the roads, and drivers need to be prepared, she said.
“Everyone needs to drive really safe and be really patient.”
Drivers can check the Caltrans Quickmap at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. for live updates on road conditions, snow chain requirements and closures around the state.
Those who remained in the Bay Area might be forgiven for thinking they are in the Sierra, as temperatures early today looked to be the coldest of the week, Anderson said.
“Temperatures in the South Bay will be right around freezing, and maybe in the upper 20s a little bit farther south in the Santa Clara Valley, such as the Morgan Hill and Gilroy areas,” Anderson said.
He said drivers should be aware of the potential for black ice on the roads, as saturated hillsides could spill more water onto the asphalt.
Skies should be mostly clear today and in the early part of Tuesday, but a chance of rain returns Tuesday night, and Anderson said there will be “continued unsettled weather” through Saturday.
“(Today) is your one and only day to get in any activity if you don’t want to get wet,” he said.
The rest of the week will remain cool, with daytime highs around the mid-50s and overnight lows around 40 to 45 degrees, Anderson said.
“We’ve just been in a persistent weather pattern that’s allowing cold air to come down from Canada,” he said.
“We don’t really have a high pressure building in between storms, so the cold air just continues to stream down without a break.”
Snow showed yet again on the mountains east of San Jose on Sunday.