The US National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Western U.S. the central valley of California, San Francisco’s North Bay area, and coastal areas of southern Oregon and northern California, beginning Friday through Saturday night. Significant snowfall was expected across the Southwest states into the weekend, even at lower elevations.
While in Northern California the weather alert was met with skepticism, as people were watching for snow the whole day, late evening the predictions came true, and San Francisco saw its first measurable snow fall in 35 years. Several high-lying city neighborhoods, including Twin Peaks, at some 900 feet, reported light snowfall.
Although the snow in San Francisco was only moderate, Mayor Ed Lee urged citizens to take precautionary measures, and to watch out for icy road conditions. But for snow to fall and accumulate in San Francisco, temperatures must drop to 36 degrees, which means that whatever falls in the next hours will disappear as soon as it hits the ground.
“We won’t wake up and run out and go build snowmen,” Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey, Calif., said Friday afternoon. But snow did fall on San Francisco, and for those who want to witness this rare weather event, KTVU.com has a recording of the flurries.
There are also reports of flurries in San Bruno, Daly City, and Los Gatos. Napa is already seeing record freezing temperatures, going below 30°. Cold temperatures will continue to spread south into the weekend: low temperatures of 15 to 25 below zero are expected in some areas, and the National Weather Service even warned against freezes and even hard freezes.