Snow delights Bay Area residents

A cold storm system moved into the Bay Area overnight, and many residents awoke this morning to an unfamiliar sight – snow.

The day started with snowball fights at Skyline High School in Oakland, receptionist Kim Kellum said. A similar scene played out at Montair Elementary School in Danville.

“Some of the kids came in this morning carrying big chunks of snow they had made,” said Montair office manager Linda Scanlon.

She said the school's field offers a view of Mt. Diablo, which was white this morning.

“Mt. Diablo has a lot (of snow),” said Carol Reid, administrative assistant at the St. Isidore School, also in Danville. “When the clouds finally lifted, I went out to look and it's really thick.”

The most snowfall was recorded at the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, where 6 inches fell, according to the National Weather Service.

Such cold weather is unusual for the Bay Area, said forecaster Bob Benjamin, who said today's high temperatures would normally be near 60 degrees.

Instead, weather this morning is topping out at 40 degrees in Oakland and San Jose, 43 degrees in San Francisco and 33 degrees in Santa Rosa, and “we can probably expect most places will have hard time getting out of the 40s,” Benjamin said.

“It's well below normal for this time of the year,” he added. “Normal low temperatures would be in the mid-40s. It's definitely going to be a cold day.”

And it won't get any warmer tonight.

Frost warnings have been issued along the coast and freeze advisories inland in the Bay Area, according to Benjamin.

Forecaster Matt Mehle said late morning that precipitation would taper off today. “It's winding down,” he said. “The sun is starting to come out.”

“The next big story is the cold temperatures,” he said. “We are expecting pretty cold temperatures behind the system for tonight and tomorrow night.”

The next major rainfall is expected later this week.

“Wednesday night we're having another pretty decent system coming in,” Mehle said. That system should be considerably warmer, he said.

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