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Bay Area snow forecast to drop as low as 1,000 feet: More powder in the hills possible

SF Gate logo SF Gate 2/8/2019 Amy Graff

a little boy that is sitting in the snow: Adrian Orput, 4, of Castro Valley (left) and Justin Vance Jr., 2, of Danville sled down a hill near Juniper Campground after overnight snow blanketed the summit of Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, Calif. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Adrian Orput, 4, of Castro Valley (left) and Justin Vance Jr., 2, of Danville sled down a hill near Juniper Campground after overnight snow blanketed the summit of Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, Calif. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
© Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

After a rare weather event earlier in the week sent Bay Area residents sledding down hillsides that rarely see snow, another round of snowfall is in the forecast for the region Sunday.

A winter storm from the northwest is expected to arrive with a cold blast of air Sunday morning, dropping snowfall elevations down to 1,500 feet, maybe even lower.

"It could go lower, depending on how cold the air is that invades the area," says Brian Garcia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. "We could see as low as 1,000 feet."

But don't pull out that sled yet, as this storm will likely be a less-intense snowmaker than what we saw last week.

MORE: 5 feet of snow forecast in the Sierra: Here are the best windows for travel

The Bay Area's highest mountaintop recorded as much as 6 inches of snow accumulation with a chilly storm that gripped the region last Sunday and Monday. Chews Ridge in Monterey received four inches, Mount Umunhum and Fremont Peak in the South Bay got three inches and the Santa Cruz Mountains got two inches.

The Highway 17 summit received a dusting about one-inch thick. Even Twin Peaks in San Francisco saw some snow flakes, but they didn't stick.

This Sunday's system will be much dryer and isn't expected to drop as much fresh powder, but Garcia suspects there might be snow on the highest peaks such as Mounts Hamilton and Diablo, and possibly on the lower-elevation hillsides.

ALSO: Friday storm reaches Bay Area earlier than expected: Slight chance of thunderstorms

The Seattle area is experiencing unseasonably frigid temperatures and especially high snowfall this week. Garcia says the storms coming to the Bay Area are hitting the Pacific Northwest first.

"That cold air impacting them up in Seattle is trying to reach us as it sinks down to the south and southeast," he explains.

Temperatures around the Bay Area are forecast to "remain on the cool side of normal," says Garcia. Afternoon highs will be in the 50s with a few isolated pockets struggling to get out of the 40s. Overnight lows will be in the 30s inland and at higher elevations and in the 40s near the coast and in San Francisco.

a view of a snow covered mountain: Sebastopol weather  was able to grab this image  from the UNR Alert Cam between clouds...the view north from Mt Tam at dawn.

Sebastopol weather  was able to grab this image  from the UNR Alert Cam between clouds...the view north from Mt Tam at dawn.

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