SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13/AP) — Yes, it’s really possible that downtown San Francisco might see its first snowfall in more than 30 years later this week.
Might being the operative word.
An unsettled cold air mass dropping from the Gulf of Alaska will bring colder temperatures and periods of rain to the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Weather Service said Tuesday. The mass could drop any snow amounts to sea level.
Snow is also expected to drop unusually low in the interior valley, with snow as low as 1,000 feet in the Sierra foothills and several feet of snow accumulating in the higher elevations.
That likely means snow at higher elevations and — possibly — light snow to downtown San Francisco for the first time since 1976, said Bob Benjamin, a weather service forecaster in Monterey.
“I really won’t say it’s not going to happen, if we do experience snow, you may see it in the air, but it will likely be gone before it hits the ground,” Benjamin said.
However, the snow could likely stick to metal surfaces up in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks, as well as the Hills in neighboring Oakland, he added.
“It’s so rare,” Benjamin said. “Any snow will be temporary. Probably long enough to take a picture, if you have a camera with a fast shutter.”
Showers in the area are expected to start Thursday, peaking on Friday with more rain on Saturday. Highs are expected to be only in the 30s by Saturday, conditions just right for rain to possibly turn into snow.
Overnight lows are expected to also be in the 30s on Friday and Saturday nights in the Bay Area, and highs will struggle to reach above 40 in the Sacramento region.
The Bay Area has already seen snow on some of its mountain peaks after a nearly four inches of precipitation, last week.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)