Chilly weather brings rare dusting of snow to Bay Area peaks

- The start of 2017 brought a rare dusting of snow to some locations in the Bay Area. 

Rain fell overnight Sunday and the cold temperatures meant snow fell in elevations as low as 1,500 feet.

Our cameras captured white caps on Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County and St. Helena in Napa County.

At noon, it was snowing at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, on Mt. St. Helena. The parking lot, at 2250 feet elevation, is only about half way up the mountain. That assured that the colder, cloud hidden summit was being pelted by much heavier snow.

A steady progression of Caltrans snow plows were on patrol, over the Highway 29 summit pass, looking for snow or ice as a number of squalls passed through the area. At lower levels, electronic signs warned of potentially treacherous conditions for those going between Napa and Lake Counties.

Unlike the Sierra snow pack, this snow will melt very quickly, but it will get into the streams and into the underground aquifers which, after five years of drought, is welcome indeed.

Nonetheless, at the summit pass, the parking lot was full, as this hiker's paradise was open on the year's first holiday. "We thought there might be a chance. But, if anything it makes it just that more epic. The sun is gone, but we have beautiful snow flurries instead. I'll take it," said hiker Josh Batoon. "In the winter time, we haven't had snow in a few years. So, being out of the drought and being able to celebrate with a little of this out somewhere so beautiful, I'm actually really excited about it," said hiker Chelsea Michael.

As optimistic as that sounds, California is actually entering its sixth-year of extreme drought, according to state agencies. 

Snow also fell in areas more south-- in the Santa Cruz Mountains and on the peaks of Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County. 

The system also dumped snow in the Sierra and Sierra foothills. 

The road stayed open between Napa and Lake counties, but snow and ice were an issue.

The forecast calls for stormy weather in the region through the week. 

The next system is expected to bring more snow to Bay Area hills overnight on Monday. 

 

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