Potent storm system heading toward the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU and wires) – A storm front moved toward Northern California from the Gulf of Alaska early Monday carrying with it frigid temperatures, rain showers and the possibility of a dusting of snow on the Bay Area's highest peaks.

KTVU Meteorologist Steve Paulson said the showers could arrive around the seventh inning of the Oakland Athletics home opener Monday night and continue into the morning commute on Tuesday.

As the front advanced it sent frigid temperatures into the Bay Area with Napa reporting a wind chill factor of 29 degrees at sunrise.

Snow levels were expected to be around 4,000 feet in the region meaning that Mount Hamilton in the south bay could end up with a dusting of snow.

Paulson said local residents could expect anywhere from ½ to 1 ½ inches of rain by the time the storm rolls through.

Local residents greeted the forecast with a sigh of relief in the region plagued by drought.

"I'm happy to see it because with all the drought stuff," said Danielle Good of Alameda. "I know we need it and hopefully we get some more of it. We did not get enough this winter."

The sentiment was the same for Doug Law of Walnut Creek.

"We're hurting and we're already in a position taking lots of water cuts," he said. "We need every drop we can get."

Later on Tuesday, Paulson said, the unstable cold air behind the storm could trigger thundershowers and hail.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said a winter weather advisory went into effect early Tuesday morning for elevations above 4,000 feet in the Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County.

The weather service has also issued a winter weather advisory for the Sierra with accumulations of 8 to 12 inches about 7,000 feet and 2-4 inches at Lake Tahoe.

High winds were also forecasted so Caltrans was warning drivers to be prepared for blowing snow and winter weather conditions. Chains will likely be required on the high passes on Highway 80 and Highway 50.