unusual snow followed by record lows
by chris dolce, meteorologist
after bringing snow to the pacific northwest wednesday into thursday, a very cold storm originating from alaska will continue southward along the coast of california.
the image to the right shows this low-pressure system moving from california into the southwest friday through saturday, bringing snow to unusual places along its path.
snow will fall to elevations as low as 1,000 to 1,500 feet in the san francisco bay area thursday night into friday. by friday night into saturday morning, it's not out of the
question that some flakes may fall as low as sea level in the bay area. this is all dependent on how much moisture is leftover as the coldest air arrives.
according to the national weather service, it has not snowed in downtown san francisco since february of 1976. this gives an idea of the rarity of snow in san francisco thanks to
the marine influence of the pacific ocean.
according to the national weather service in los angeles, temperatures around 18,000 feet up in atmosphere could hit levels only seen one other time in the area since 1977. just
another example of how cold and unusual this storm is.
snow in southern california could fall to elevations as low as 1000 to 2000 feet in ventura and los angeles counties friday night into saturday. light snow could fall in elevated
valley locations of these counties, including the santa clarita valley. portions of san luis obispo and santa barbara counties could see some flakes fall as low as 500 feet.
travel will be effected on many mountain roads and passes, including i-5 through the grapevine. a foot or more of snow will pile up in the higher elevations above 5,000 feet.
there is also a cold side to this story and record lows will be threatened the next couple of mornings from the northwest to california.