Day 2 of rare Bay Area snowstorm has residents of all ages awestruck

ByABC7 News staff KGO logo
Saturday, February 25, 2023
'This was my dream to see': Rare Bay Area snow has residents awestruck
From snowmen to snowball fights, here's how Bay Area residents are reacting to rare winter storms and day two of snow.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Bay Area was hit with another round of low-level snow Thursday night and Friday morning as a chilly winter storm moved through the region.

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

From Wine Country to the Santa Cruz Mountains, snow fell across parts of the Bay Area on Friday. Here's a look at some of the incredible video.

Although the weather heavily impacted roadways and highways many took advantage of the rare snowfall.

Here's a look at how the Bay Area enjoyed day 2 of our wintry weather.

East Bay

In the snow-covered Oakland Hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area, a sight, so rare, Michael Sullivan had to come to see for himself.

"Legit snow, like no joke. Not just a little dusting but legit snow here on the East Bay hills, snow on the invasive eucalyptus trees," Michael Sullivan, an Oakland Hills resident said. "It's amazing! And like I said, I wasn't gonna miss it."

And he wasn't alone.

"This is wild, I've never seen it snow in Oakland, um, have you?" said Aarthi Gurusami, an Oakland resident. "It's amazing!"

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

Here's an aerial tour of Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Diablo, other San Francisco Bay Area snow-capped peaks, hills after winter storm,

Thicker, fluffy flakes were falling here in the hills around midnight, just above Berkeley and Orinda, on the Contra Costa side.

Tilden Park and also Grizzly Peak Boulevard saw quite a bit of snow too, with the road nearly impassible for folks with regular tires.

In the daylight, Skyline Boulevard was no exception on Friday morning.

"It hasn't snowed at our place, but this was my dream to see this all around, you never expect this much of a mountain of snow here," said Jackie Pierce, an Oakland Hills.

Ten-year-old Pierce, taking full advantage of her quick stop at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve with her dad, to build a snowman before school.

"It's my first time building a snowman in Oakland, California!" she said. "It's crazy, like, I wasn't expecting this."

"It just adds a really magical component to what's already a wonderful place to begin with," said Jim Rutledge, Park Supervisor at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve.

But Rutledge says, if you make the trip to see the snow, be prepared before hiking in.

"People aren't used to being in the snow and so they come up into this area and walk back into the park and then they get really cold or something and then sometimes we have to go in and get back out to their cars," he said.

And while it may not seem like much to our friends on the East Coast or Midwest, it was a rare treat for the Bay Area, which some say, only comes around once every few years.

"Thank you weather, for snowing!" Pierce said.

In parts of the East Bay, Mount Diablo is an iconic landmark. Friday at sunset, the panoramic views of the snow-capped mountain proves why.

"This is my mountain. And I just love it," says Georganne Zaro Eddy, who lives in Lafayette.

She says she made several stops, trying to take the perfect photo of the snow-capped mountain. The 79-year-old say she's never seen it like this before.

"I have been driving all over town trying to get pictures. It's beautiful."

"I have seen snow on the mountain, but it is fun to see it. This morning it was even further, deeper on the mountain. It's beautiful," says Charlie Luecker, who lives in Moraga.

Mount Diablo is an iconic landmark in the East Bay. Friday at sunset, the panoramic views of the snow-capped mountain proves why.

Crowds of people parked along a freeway overpass in Lafayette to get a to take in the view.

"It's amazing! I figured I had to stop and take a photo, and just take it all in," says Lindsay Klein, an East Bay resident.

The National Weather Service called the winter storm "historic," given the that amount snow fall in lower elevations was more than just a dusting. Lower elevations got up to three inches of snow in parts of the Bay Area.

Ted Michon lives nearby and came out with his professional camera.

"It's rare. It's awesome. I live right here, so I see this view all the time. But seeing it look like a ski resort is pretty cool," explains Michon.

Abdul-Qadir Adeeb lives in Union City. He came out to Lafayette wanting the snow as a backdrop for his music video.

"This is perfect. Especially today, because it was raining. We see snow on the mountain. It is something rare. It's amazing. I love it!" he says.

Mount Diablo was closed Friday to public. Lines of cars were turned away at the south entrance in Danville. That was a huge disappointment for a group that drove all the way from San Jose.

"We were excited to see the Mt. Diablo snow. Maybe just drive up. But we were disappointed that we were turned back," says Seshu Chepyala.

North Bay

"We saw that it was going to be covered in snow. The kids did have school today, but guess what? This is history. We are not taking them."

In the North Bay, residents packed a park to enjoy the rare snow day.

"We saw that it was going to be covered in snow. The kids did have school today, but guess what? This is history. We are not taking them," said Jeannette Ambriz-Diaz, a Cloverdale resident.

Ambriz-Diaz brought her family to the park to join the dozens of others taking advantage of something Bay Area residents usually have to drive several hours to enjoy.

"Since we went to Lake Tahoe, it has been so fun. But now that is at our house it is so crazy. I mean, look at it! It is so crazy," said Priscilla Cuellar.

RELATED: Winter storm transforms Northern California, Bay Area into snowy landscape

California's landscape was transformed by a rare winter storm that dumped several inches of snow at low elevations throughout the state on Thursday.

Everything was on the cards today. Snowball fights, sledding and the best thing we all love to see: watching dogs play in the snow.

Those at the park say it is much different than what they usually see.

"Just smoke, fires and rain. It is crazy to me that we got a snow day off at school," said Damian Flores.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the snow came down in bucketloads.

Many North Bay residents went out to enjoy the wintry landscape on Friday, as the region received nine inches of snow within 24 hours.

Caltrans had to bring the snow plows out to clear roads off Highway 101, as the snow made traveling difficult.

Once the sun rose, however, you could see how much snow covered the North Bay.

A historic day putting smiles on many faces.

"I have never seen snow my whole life that I have lived here, and for them to grow up here and be like wow there is now. This is history. It is insane," Ambriz-Diaz said. "We had plans to go to Tahoe in two weeks and now I am like should we, we just had snow right now?"

Napa Valley has seen a stunning amount of snow during the California storm this week, as many opted to enjoy the rare sight.

By midday, about nine inches of snow had fallen in the North Bay. No snowplows around here, but a backhoe was getting the job done, clearing a parking lot.

For a time, driving was too dangerous.

That's why Zach Cross grabbed his skis for a quick run into town.

"Good excuse to come into town with the skis, I've never seen this before after five years living here," Cross said.


Caltrans urges everyone who wants to trek through tough conditions to see the snow, and to drive safely.

Snow also led to the closure of some main roads in San Mateo County earlier Friday.

Despite the effect on the roads, some of the county's highest elevations were the most popular for people in search of snow.

"To drive 12 minutes to come look at snow and not drive to Tahoe and be up here, and then now we go home and have hot cocoa and you know, enjoy the day (It's) the best of both worlds," said Ellen Larios who was enjoying the snow with her family.

Though it's been mostly fun and games, the snow didn't come without causing some hiccups.

Throughout most of Friday, Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County saw broken trees, downed branches and falling power lines.

Caltrans urges everyone who wants to trek through tough conditions to see the snow, and to drive safely.

"This is very rare for us in the Bay Area to receive such beautiful snow," said Victor Gauthier with Caltrans, "But we have to be mindful and be safe when we're out there on the roadways. Pay attention to the road. Pay attention to the signs and use caution."

In the meantime, crews have been working steadily to keep the roads safe so people to continue enjoying the rare weather.

"Our maintenance crews are out on the highways now doing the best that they can clear any fallen trees off the roadways, as well as clearing the ice or snow," Gauthier said.

For now, most are just taking in as much of the snow as they can, while they can.

South Bay

There was a near picture-perfect scene of white in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But the problem was no one could get any closer to see it.

There was a near picture-perfect scene of white in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But the problem was no one could get anywhere up close to see it.

Highway 17 was closed all day due to wintry conditions Southbound at Bear Creek Road and Northbound in Scotts Valley at Granite Road.

Caltrans responded to multiple trees down and powerlines that had fallen across all four lanes of the highway. Crews told us the road continued to freeze over even after they cleared it.

Closures on 17 are not uncommon, southbound was closed for an entire day last month. But residents say this time is different.

TIMELINE: Here's where and when snow is possible as Bay Area sees coldest temps of season this week

Highway Patrol is urging residents to stay off roads like this due to icy and dangerous conditions.

CHP Officer John May says if you find yourself on ice, slow down to avoid a spinout.

"Just make sure that you're not reactive," May said. "Don't make any sudden turning movements. Allow your foot to come off that acceleration pedal and slowly apply the brakes until your vehicle comes to a complete stop."

ABC7 News reporters Lena Howland, Ryan Curry, Dustin Dorsey and Zach Fuentes contributed to this report.

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