Snow dusts Bay Area moun­tains again

Peaks were white-capped Sun­day morn­ing, treat­ing res­i­dents to post­card views

The Mercury News - - Local News - By Joseph Geha [email protected]­yare­anews­group.com

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.”

RANDY VAZQUEZ — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Snow showed yet again on the moun­tains east of San Jose on Sun­day.

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