You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Another winter storm hits the Bay Area, with more on the horizon: Will this weather end anytime soon?

The Reporter (Vacaville) logo The Reporter (Vacaville) 2/28/2023 Rick Hurd, Austin Turner

A winter that has brought storm upon storm upon the Bay Area — sometimes as rapidly as the low-elevation snowflakes that fell last week — dropped another one into the region Monday.

To hear weather experts tell it, it was just one more signal that we should not expect spring sunshine anytime soon.

“When you look at everything, there is a suggestion that we could have a wet pattern into March,” said Dr. John P. Monteverdi, an emeritus professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University. “It does look like that will happen”

The latest storm to pass through the region was an off-shoot of the system that blew in from the Gulf of Alaska last week, giving the Bay Area perhaps its most famous snow day in close to 50 years. In contrast, the weather that hit Monday was more typical of a winter storm in the region, with snow primarily falling above 2,000-2,500 feet, and heavy showers coming in closer to sea level.

Some of the heaviest rain happened early Monday, with an inch of rain falling at Wunderlich National Park in San Mateo County between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., and about nine-tenths of an inch falling in Dublin during the same timeframe. A half-inch also fell in Fremont and Concord, and San Jose received three-tenths of an inch.

Red-winged blackbird perch on branches of almond trees as storm clouds fill the sky above an orchard Monday in Elmira.Ê(Joel Rosenbaum / The Reporter) © Provided by The Reporter (Vacaville) Red-winged blackbird perch on branches of almond trees as storm clouds fill the sky above an orchard Monday in Elmira.Ê(Joel Rosenbaum / The Reporter)

With the rain came winds with 30-35 mph gusts, isolated thunder, small hail, and occasional lightning. according to the National Weather Service.

In the Sierra Nevada, blizzard conditions were expected Tuesday into Wednesday, according to the weather service. Authorities urged people to cancel any travel plans, as Interstate 80 from Placerville to the Nevada state line remained closed and chains were required on state Highway 50.

A winter weather advisory for elevations above 3,000 feet in the region remained in effect through 4 p.m. Tuesday. The weather service said 5-10 inches of snow was expected.

Weather service meteorologist Jeff Lorber said there were reports Monday of snow at 1,700 feet in areas along the Peninsula but that most of the snow was expected to stay at least above 2,000 feet. Above it, it was supposed to be heavier than normal. Mount Hamilton in San Jose was forecast to have 6-8 inches of snow on Monday.

On Wednesday, the weather is expected to be a bit calmer with more rain, Lorber said. A clearing pattern is expected after that into Friday.

Forecasters said there is likely still more rain to come on Saturday and Sunday.

“If you have a wet pattern like we were having by Dec. 1, very early in the rain season, nature is telling us it wants that to happen,” Monteverdi said.

As a result, he said, the weather patterns that settle into place tend to re-occur. The earlier they begin occurring in the season, the later they are likely to last, he said. As a result, Monteverdi said it’s probable that March will bring more big storms.

Whether any will match what happened last week remains to be seen, but Monteverdi said that snow is not as unusual in the region as it may seem.

“We’ve had a number of these over the past 50 years,” he said. “You might have them once every 10 years on average. Back in 1976, we really got nailed, and that’s the famous one. But we’ve had snow again since then, about once every 10 years. It’s part of our climate in certain weather patterns.”

Monday’s system moved south over the North Bay first before the sun rose, then shifted over the Bay Area’s largest population centers by about 9:30 a.m., according to the NWS.

“One of the things we expect as this version of the climate change that we’re experiencing is that we get the jet stream locked into these patterns that are slow-moving and stationary like they were in December and January,” Monteverdi said.

The storms have kept Pacific Gas & Electric crews busy working to restore power to Bay Area residents. By 1 p.m. Monday, about 8,050 customers still were without it, most of them in the North Bay (4,320) and South Bay (3,270).


More From The Reporter

The Reporter (Vacaville)
The Reporter (Vacaville)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon