Windy, Wet, and Wild

Snow covered mountain tops in the Bay Area Photo credits: Audrey Huynh

By Audrey Huynh

Feb. 27, 2023

SAN JOSE, CALIF.– Soggy Season strikes as storm clouds roll over the Bay Area, bringing rain and snow.

The periodic rain February has been experiencing is a result of a low-pressure system swirling off the Oregon coast. In a low-pressure system, the center has inferior pressure to its surroundings, causing air to rise in the atmosphere. Water vapor condenses when the air rises, creating clouds that are filled with precipitation. As the low-pressure system migrated south to California, temperatures dropped in the Bay Area.

Rain started with a light drizzle on Feb. 22, although the amount of precipitation slowly increased as the week progressed. The peak of the rainstorm was on Feb. 24, which brought 0.57 inches of rain. From then, the heavy downpour fizzled out into a mild sprinkle on Feb. 26 to Feb. 28. 

Although San Jose doesn’t receive snow, the mountaintops are no stranger to the weather phenomenon. On Feb. 24, the Bay Area woke up to snow covered mountains as a result of both the cold temperatures and the rain. Overnight, Mount Hamilton racked up a total of 14 inches of snow. Most of the Diablo Mountain Range was draped in snow by Feb. 26. Many major roads and highways closed up due to the snowfall and fallen trees, including State Route 17, State Route 128, and Interstate 80. 

Several regions received blizzard warnings, including Tahoe and Sierra Nevada. The National Sacramento Weather Service tweeted on Feb. 25, “AVOID TRAVEL DURING THIS TIME!” Multiple warnings from the Officials of California urge people to refrain from traveling until the weather is less dangerous.

A screenshot of a weather forecast app as of Feb. 27
Photo credits: Audrey Huynh

Many weather services forecast numerous on-and-off days of rain and possible thunderstorms. With Spring steadily approaching on March 20, showers of rain, windy conditions, and chilly temperatures are not out of the ordinary. 2022 had one of the most rainy Spring months San Jose has ever experienced. Spring of 2023 is expected to surpass last year’s total amount of rain.

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