What a difference a week makes.
Just seven days after The City encountered record high temperatures during an unseasonable heat wave, San Franciscans experienced classic winter conditions likely to last through the weekend.
Winds and scattered rains showered San Francisco on Monday, ending the rare run of clear skies. A new storm is expected to hit The City tonight and Wednesday morning and may last into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Over the next few days, San Francisco can expect showers and temperatures in the mid- to high 50s, along with 15 to 25 mph winds.
An onslaught of gusting winds prompted the California Highway Patrol to issue a high-wind advisory on the Bay Bridge at 12:33 a.m. Monday morning, according to the CHP Traffic Incident Information log.
The sudden change in climate, although normal during this time of year, came about a week after San Francisco recorded a record-high Feb. 6 of 77 degrees.
“Somebody told me it was going to be sunny,” said Brad Smith, who is on vacation from Maui, Hawaii, with his girlfriend and was sightseeing at Pier 39 despite the weather. “But we’re still having fun.”
Smith’s girlfriend, Megan Evans, said the weather caught them by surprise. “We got in last night and it was clear,” she said. “The shuttle driver was like, ‘Oh, it’s been sunny for days.’ We woke up this morning and it was like ‘Oh, crap.’”
The change in weather came courtesy of a classic winter storm rolling down the Gulf of Alaska, bringing down cold air, National Weather Service forecaster Steve Anderson said. Snowfall is possible tonight on Bay Area peaks such as Mount Tamalpais, Mount Hamilton, Mount Diablo and Mount Saint Helena.
“It sucks,” said Leah Mazor, an Embarcadero jewelry stand operator who said such weather makes it difficult for people who work outside. Although Mazor usually doesn’t work winters, she opened her stand Monday in anticipation of last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers.
“I have no choice,” the 58-year-old said. “I have bills to pay.”
So far this winter, San Francisco has recorded about 13.5 inches of rain, Anderson said. That puts The City about 1 inch ahead of its average winter precipitation of 12.3 inches, according to data from the Western Regional Climate Center.