Inches of snow on the peaks of South Bay's Mt. Hamilton

- Wild winter weather also hit the South Bay. The peaks of Mount Hamilton got inches of snow, and at lower elevations, rain pooled on streets slowing the evening commute. For South Bay residents out for a night on the town, the most common companion is an umbrella.

Periods of moderate and heavy rainfall took some of the starch out of TGIF.

“It is kind of a damper when you’re trying to go out and have some fun. You want to go out and go from bar to bar or restaurant to restaurant, and it’s hard because not everybody has an umbrella. And it’s really cold,” said Amanda Kay Olson, as she headed into a bar in Downtown San Jose.

Some hailed the return of winter precipitation, while others shrugged off the drops, and inconvenience.

“It’s just rain. It’s not like it’s a snow storm or anything,” said Allison Brooks, as she walked with her husband Tyler.

That statement failed to pass muster at higher elevations. For the second time this week, white stuff blanketed Mount Hamilton and other South Bay peaks. Fresh powder made for the perfect family snow play date. Jaime Inshaw pulled her kids out of school early for a snowball fight.

“We love snow. My husband is a snowboarder, he loves the snow. He grew up with it. And we’re trying to raise our kids with snow. It’s kind of hard when you live in California. Not today,” said Inshaw.

This unusual sight – snow falling 4,200 feet up – brought the curious by the carload..
“It’s pretty cool.”

“Never seen it before in San Jose. I’ve been living here my whole life. So it’s a pretty unique experience,” said Adnaan Seale and Gurinderbir Baines. The two friends were off from school and drove up to Hamilton to play in the snow.

All day, dozens of people made a snow run up the winding road from the Santa Clara Valley floor to the mountain top, and Lick Observatory.

“It came down pretty good earlier and it was sticking pretty well to the roads,” said an observatory employee.

Officials say Lick, the oldest permanent mountain top observatory, is closed due to the inclement weather. Snow plows are clearing the parking lot and surrounding side streets of an estimated two inches of snow. But officials dissuade anyone from making the trek up to see what’s coming down.

“Because we’re not equipped to handle the kind of emergencies that could arise. And it’s not a snow park, it’s an observatory,” the unidentified employee said.

The words of warning are falling on deaf ears, as an exodus up the mountain continued all day, so the young, and young at heart, can see a rare Bay Area sight of nature.

“Because it’s now in the bay area. Just as simple as that. It’s fun to see snow on the local mountains and go and grab a bit,” said San Jose resident Craig Paterson, who drove to the mountain top to take pictures of the snowfall.

A few more inches of snow could fall up on Mount Hamilton by tomorrow, so CalTrans will likely close the road due to treacherous conditions. In the Valley, rain is pooling on roads so take care while driving or crossing the street.
 

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