All Eyes on Snow Forecast

Bay Area meteorologists aren't used to their forecasts getting this much attention.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This is a photo that shows snow AND the Bay Bridge. This weekend we get snow ON the Bay Bridge. PHOTO:

    A winter storm will once again put an icy grip on the Bay Area by the week's end, but San Francisco residents should not bet on snow flurries just yet, at least according to a National Weather Service forecaster.

    Talk began swirling this week that significant snow could drop on San Francisco for the first time since 1976. Santa Clara University released a photo Wednesday of snow on campus during the same weather event. (see attached)

    Snow is still entirely possible both Friday night and into Saturday morning, but the NWS is pulling back on their sea level forecast. "We're not forecasting snow in San Francisco at this time," forecaster Bob Benjamin told Bay City News.

    NBC Bay Area chief meteorologist Jeff Ranieri said although there is still a decent chance for sea level snowflakes, the pending weather event that is headed our way has sped up and that could change everything. The wintry snow mix is now possible as early as Thursday night for elevations near 3,000 feet.  The perfect combination of cold air and moisture looks to be in place early Friday Morning.  This would bring our best chance of low snow in the hills near 1,000 feet and possibly a rain snow mix to 500 feet.   His current forecast has the highest totals in the South Bay with Mt. Hamilton expecting upwards of 6 inches. 

    Ranieri says It won't be over Friday Morning Though...  "Any small isolated areas of rain that may linger Friday PM into Saturday AM could turn into sea level snowflakes!  Accumulations don't look like much at this point. However, as little as a trace of snow recorded at sea level this time of year would set a new record.  Oh, and one more thing.... Don't forget the cold that could produce the snow.  Temperatures will remain in the 40's for highs Friday & Saturday with overnight lows in the 20's & 30's. While the snow is a close call for parts of the Bay Area the record cold is a sure thing right now."  This is one to watch closely.

    If the Bay Area does wake up to snow at sea level Saturday, it could be the most photographed weather event in Bay Area history. Just think of the number of people who own devices that take photographs.  By the way, we want to see your photos. Send us anything you get to this link.