Winter storm dumps snow, delays flights

A winter storm hit the Bay Area on Monday, causing airport delays, flooding on highways, and several inches of snow in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Diablo Range and the hills and mountains in the North Bay.

According to meteorologist Brian Tentinger of the National Weather Service, a cold front brought temperatures down to the low 30s at elevations above 1,000 feet. The National Weather Service issued a snow advisory for the 1,000 foot-plus elevations that is in effect until 4 a.m. today, when the temperatures were expected to increase, though rain is still lingering in the forecast.

On Monday, rain and low visibility caused two-hour delays at San Francisco International Airport, affecting all arriving and departing flights, SFO Duty Manager Douglas Lyon said. Delays continued until 7 p.m. Monday.

The downpours also affected the roadways around the Bay Area. Interstate Highway 280 was flooded in San Francisco and also near Hickey Boulevard in Daly City, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Temperatures Monday night dropped down to low 40s in San Francisco and the Peninsula but will get warmer for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Although no more snow is expected at elevations below 3,000 feet, rain is in the forecast for the Bay Area until Saturday, Tentinger said.

“This system is coming in from the north and moving south,” he said. “It’s meandering off the coast and then there is another storm in the back of it, so there is no extended dry period until Saturday.”

The cold temperatures did have some in the region seeing some white.

Snow closed a portion of state Route 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Monday morning and Mt. Hamilton Road in Santa Clara County, according to the CHP. With up to two inches of snow, state Route 9 was closed for almost an hour in the morning until Caltrans crews cleared the snow, CHP Officer Tracy Hoover said.

Tentinger explained that snow was going to melt in most areas because the ground was too warm to sustain it.

Molly Wartman, tasting room manager at Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains said the vineyards received a dusting of snow Monday morning, but the snow turned to rain in the afternoon.

“Vines don’t have grapes on them right now, so snow doesn’t affect it that much,” Wartman said.

Similar temperature drops occur about once every winter, according to the National Weather Service.

svasilyuk@examiner.com  

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