SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A storm system moving into Northern California has created the possibility that San Francisco will see its first significant snowfall in 35 years, creating all sorts of buzz around the city about the rare weather event.
The near sea-level city last saw snow on the ground in 1976, when an inch fell. Weather forecasters say there's just a 10 percent chance that a drop in temperatures could combine with precipitation to create snow late Friday and early Saturday, but that hasn't stopped the tech-savvy city from looking skyward with anticipation.
One blogger posted a pretend ski map, noting possible beginner, intermediate and expert runs in the city's hilly Bernal Heights neighborhood. A newly created website — isitsnowinginsfyet.com — gives a simple answer for anyone who is wondering.
The San Francisco Chronicle has posted old photos of snow storms from 1882, 1951, 1964 and other rare instances of city snowfall — including one photo from the 1976 storm that shows gleeful schoolkids throwing snowballs.
"Possible snow here in San Francisco?" city resident Anthony Nachor wrote on Twitter on Friday. "Better wait and see..."
Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterrey, Calif., said the likelihood of snow is very minimal, and any snow that does fall, probably won't stick to the ground. There's the possibility of a dusting in the city's Twin Peaks neighborhood, but that's about it, he said.
"We won't wake up and run out and go build snowmen," Benjamin said.
Nonetheless, the storm prompted San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to take precautionary measures. He urged residents to watch out for icy road conditions, and, if possible, avoid driving during the storm's peak. The city's public works department was planning to offer free sandbags and emergency crews were on stand-by.
The storm has already dumped more than 2 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, and forecasters said more than 3 feet could fall in the highest elevations by the end of the weekend.
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