There's Snow in Them There Hills

Frigid forecast for rest of week

A winter blast hit people in the Bay Area again Tuesday with wild weather that includes hail, rain and lots of snow on area peaks.

NBC Bay Area news meteorologist Craig Herrera says temperatures will be exceptionally cool, bringing the snow level down to 1,000 feet, even lower in some spots!

The National Weather Service has issued a snow advisory for the Bay Area at elevations above 2,000 feet.

A series of low pressure systems moving south from the Canada has pushed the mercury into freezing territory, with temperatures  Tuesday forecast to be in the 40s with overnight lows in the 20s for inland  valleys

Herrera said things should calm down by this evening.  At that point Herrera says it will be very cold with temperatures below freezing in many locations.

Snow is falling in the Santa Cruz Mountains, prompting authorities to call out snowplows to clear the narrow highways through the mountains.

Forecasters say with unsettled weather expected for the next few days, as much as six inches could accumulate on Santa Clara County's Mount Hamilton.

To the north, snow also fell in the higher elevations of Sonoma and Lake counties.

In the Sierra, the National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect, where some ski resorts are reporting as much as two feet of new snow.

In the Sierra Nevada, snow is making for good skiing, but tough driving.

Forecasters say another one to two feet of snow could fall in the northern Sierra through Tuesday afternoon.

The California Highway Patrol is advising drivers to use caution on Bay Area highways and roadways this morning, as rain and clogged storm drains have caused incidences of flooding in several locations.

The cold weather has prompted cold weather preparation for homeless shelters and warming centers in some  cities.

State Office of Emergency Services deputy director Kelly Huston  said rainfall has been keeping ground temperatures above freezing levels, but  clear nights and low temperatures could push the state into a cold-weather  emergency.

"I think the critical time is going to be Tuesday evening and  Wednesday evening," Huston said.

EHC Lifebuilders, the largest provider of homeless shelter and  services in Santa Clara County, operates the National Guard armories in  Gilroy and Sunnyvale and a shelter in San Jose, spokeswoman Jennifer McEvery  said.

The Gilroy shelter, 8940 Wren Ave., and Sunnyvale shelter, 620  East Maude Ave., each offer 125 beds nightly. The shelters open at 6 p.m. and  close every morning at 6 a.m.

EHC Lifebuilders will extend the hours of the armories so people  are not forced back each morning into cold weather once the agency is given  the directive from the state, McEvery said.

While San Francisco's shelter system already offers 24-hour  shelters, additional measures will be taken to ensure all individuals and  families in need have a warm place to stay, said Dariush Kayhan, the city's  homeless policy director.

About 1,200 shelter beds are available in San Francisco's  year-round shelter system, with more than half of the shelters open 24-hours  a day, Kayhan said. Drop-in centers where showers and other services are  available are also offered, he said.

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