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Surprising snow-down brings students, locals to Berkeley Hills

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FEBRUARY 27, 2023

A sudden white dusting of snow covered Berkeley Hills and Grizzly Peak Boulevard on Friday morning after a cold night of rain and hail, as California’s winter storm touched elevated local areas.

Temperatures ranged in the mid-30s to low-40s degrees Fahrenheit early Friday.

According to a forecast by the San Francisco Bay Area National Weather Service, there is expected to be a significant accumulation of snow in areas between 1,500 and 2,000 feet of elevation in the Bay Area and along the California Central Coast.

Although Berkeley Hills was greeted by unexpected snow cover in 2019, there has not been a winter storm in the North Bay since February 2011.

In a statement released Wednesday by Paul Heggen, chief meteorologist for CBS News Bay Area, Wednesday night was the first winter storm warning issued in 12 years.

UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab also recorded a 120% increase in snowfall compared to the average seasonal snowfall and a 176% increase in snowfall compared to the February average in the Sierra Nevadas.

Campus students and community members made full use of the snowy surprise. Josette Thornhill, a campus sophomore who drove up Grizzly Peak early to catch the snow before it melted, said that cars dotted the highway, with people and pets enjoying the rare weather.

“It was really amazing,” Thornhill said. “It was actively snowing while we were there, real snowflakes coming down, and that was just something I had never experienced in the Bay Area.”

Contact Ananya Rupanagunta at 


FEBRUARY 27, 2023