The roller coaster ride of spring weather continued Monday as Mother Nature walloped the Bay Area with heavy downpours, pea-sized hail, isolated thunderstorms and even snow in some higher elevation locations.
Mother Nature's wrath proved especially troublesome in the Oakland Hills where hail blanketed homes, cars and streets, triggering traffic headaches in and around the area of Skyline Boulevard and Redwood Road as motorists struggled to gain traction amid the icy conditions.
"It's our version of a snow day in Oakland," resident Grace Beatty said. "But it wouldn't stop, and then it got louder and heavier and the size of hail got bigger. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is like what you see in Nebraska or something.' We're native to the Bay Area, so this is really unusual for us."
Scattered showers, which are expected to produce moderate to heavy downpours at times Monday, are expected to hang around through the afternoon hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Isolated thunderstorms produced lightning strikes in some East Bay and South Bay locations Monday morning. Some storm pockets also drenched other areas with brief but heavy downpours as well as lashed neighborhoods with gusty winds and hail.
The freak hailstorm in the Oakland Hills triggered a number of wrecks, spin-outs and backups while drivers tried to navigate the slick and sloped roads. "Significant" black ice was reported on Redwood Road near Mountain Boulevard next to Highway 13 as well as along the 12500 block of Campus Drive, according to police.
Greg Cusick said he hasn't seen anything like Monday's hailstorm in the 47 years he's lived in Oakland.
"Not this thick, no," he said while discussing the piles of hail in the area. "This is the thickest I've ever seen it."
Rainfall totals for Monday are only expected to top out between one-tenth and one-quarter of an inch for most Bay Area locations, according to the NWS. Some spots could pick up one-half inch.
The wild spring weather dropped snow levels to around 3,000 feet, according to weather officials.
A dusting of snow could be seen blanketing Mount Hamilton in the South Bay and surrounding hills. Snow flurries were also spotted falling in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Isolated to scattered showers will continue through this afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms will also be possible with brief heavy downpours, cloud to surface lightning, small hail and gusty winds. Snow levels also drop to around 3,000 feet. Showers diminish this evening. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/OD9CkGMhxv
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) April 16, 2018