South Bay residents rush to Mount Hamilton as light snow begins to fall

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Preparation for Christmas in the Park at Plaza de Cesar Chavez is well underway.

Visitors will notice it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown San Jose.

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On Mount Hamilton, more than 4,000-feet up, it's starting to look like it, too.

Cameras at the Lick Observatory captured snowfall on Wednesday afternoon.

"To have this much snow up here, it's really impressive for a native 'San Josean' like myself to see this much snow up here," resident Joseph Jolly told ABC7 News. "And to actually physically, during this interview, see it snowing. That's amazing!"

Wednesday's snow provided a calming sight for those who braved Tuesday night's big storm.

ABC7 News connected with resident Robert Garcia, who went up Mount Hamilton Road in short sleeves.

RELATED: Prepare for delays: Snow blankets roads in the Sierra ahead of Thanksgiving

Garcia explained he went from sunshine in Hawaii the day before to snow on Mount Hamilton.

"I was in 82-degree weather. Now, I'm in 42-degree weather," he said.

A trek that usually takes about an hour from Downtown San Jose with clear conditions was slowed down with the snowfall.

However, visitors said Mount Hamilton offers them a sense of safety that isn't guaranteed on a trip to the Sierra.

"Unless we really need to go up there, they said don't come," Jolly said, referring to the treacherous weather conditions on the road to Lake Tahoe. "Because, it was white-out and they couldn't see on the road - like the car in front of you - and that's very bad."

However, wet roads and freezing temperatures anywhere can make for a slick commute.

Lick Observatory officials told ABC7 News the road to the observatory is closed until at least 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and could potentially remain closed depending on snowfall.

RELATED: Snow creating dangerous driving conditions in the Sierra

Still, fresh powder is giving people in South Bay another way to get away.

"For either your Thanksgiving or Black Friday, instead of going shopping, I'd say if the road is open, try to come up here and see snow," Jolly said. "And not have to drive to Reno or Tahoe."

Besides taking it slow on the roads, remember to bundle up. On the drive up to the snow, ABC7 News watched the temperature drop from the low 50's to freezing in a matter of miles.
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