Mt. Hamilton could see up to 33 inches of snow: Here's why scientists say stay away for now

A heavy amount of snow is expected over the next couple of days at Mount Hamilton.

Zach Fuentes Image
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Snow storm: Here's why scientists say to stay away from Mt. Hamilton
EMBED <>More Videos

A heavy amount of snow is expected over the next couple of days at Mount Hamilton. Lick Observatory scientists say they're expecting 33 inches of it.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A heavy amount of snow is expected over the next couple of days at Mount Hamilton.

VIDEO: A look at the best snow videos from rare Bay Area snowfall

While it's a popular spot for some to come see the snow, scientists who work at the University of California's Lick Observatory say it's best to stay away for now.

Considering snow is expected in unusual spots around the Bay Area, the observatory at Mt. Hamilton was relatively calm Wednesday.

But Dr. Paul Lynham, an astronomer at the observatory says they're preparing for much more.

"Some of those forecasts are predicting over the next 72 hours, accumulation of snow up to about 33 inches. We're getting ready for that snow," Dr. Lynham said.

VIDEO: SKY7 flies over Bay Area snow-capped mountains, peaks

"(Snow) is not unusual on Mt. Hamilton during the winter time, but this next few days is appearing like we may get an unusual accumulation in a short space of time."

The observatory usually plans on February being wet a month, using it to take care of maintenance on telescopes and other equipment.

But with the amount of snow that's expected, they have concerns about maintaining their water supply and other utilities.

One of their biggest concerns though is making sure the roads stay safe and clear, not only for them but for their neighbors.

VIDEO: From The Archive: Snow fell in the Bay Area in 1976

"Big sheets of ice may fall upwards of six stories, and they'll break a windshield. If they land on you if you happen to be close to the building, it's not going to be a pleasant outcome," Lynham said.

Leaving him and the folks at Lick Observatory with one main message:

"If you want to help the observatory, and you want to help the communities of Mt. Hamilton, and you want to be sensible yourselves and stay safe," he said, "Don't attempt to come up the mountain road."

Take a look at our full weather coverage here, including the latest AccuWeather forecast and full details on the unusual snow, rain and hail hitting the SF Bay Area.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live