Snow Dusts The Bay Area In a 'Winter Wonderland'

February 5, 2019
Santa Cruz Mountains Snow (Photo credit: Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio)

Santa Cruz Mountains Snow (Photo credit: Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio)


SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) — Snow fell across a wide swath of the Bay Area on Monday and Tuesday, a rare occurrence that brought smiles to many but headaches to those who had to travel in it.

Snow began to accumulate Monday afternoon at higher elevations, but by Tuesday morning, the snow level had fallen to as low as 500 feet.

"Typically, these systems are a little bit farther inland and bring snow to the Sierra," said National Weather Service lead forecaster Roger Gass, but in this case, the weather pattern swept across the Bay Area as well.

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Early Tuesday commuters saw snow accumulations at roadside along Interstate 580 in the Altamont Pass and along Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Vasco Road (Photo credit: Holly Quan/KCBS Radio)
Vasco Road (Photo credit: Holly Quan/KCBS Radio)

The California Highway Patrol issued a warning for icy conditions along Highway 152 at Pacheco Pass, and the Palo Alto Police Department reported the closure of Page Mill Road near Skyline Boulevard due to snow and ice. Road sanders were deployed along Highway 101 between Windsor and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

Traffic slowed to a crawl along Vasco Road in the East Bay, where KCBS Radio reporter Holly Quan described enough snow on the pavement that vehicle tire tracks were apparent.

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Highway 17 was closed for several hours early Tuesday, re-opening in time for the morning commute. Snow was falling at the summit, Patchen Pass (elevation 1,808') as drivers threaded their way through a wintry landscape. KCBS Radio reporter Matt Bigler saw crews using snowplows and salt spreaders to cope with the snow, while the California Highway Patrol periodically halted traffic.

Snowy Car (Photo credit: Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio)
Snowy Car (Photo credit: Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio)

Vehicles parked near Highway 17 showed the effects of several hours of snowfall.

In the Sierra Nevada, Interstate 80 was closed from Applegate in Placer County to the Nevada state line due to what were described as "white-out conditions", while the chain control point on U.S.. Highway 50 was set three miles east of Placerville.

- Holly Quan, KCBS Radio