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Let it SLO! Snow spotted in SLO County — and more could be on the way

Watch snow falling on Highway 58 in San Luis Obispo County

Snow fell on Highway 58, west of Santa Margarita, near Red Hill Road in San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
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Snow fell on Highway 58, west of Santa Margarita, near Red Hill Road in San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Parts of San Luis Obispo County saw an unusual sight on Tuesday: snow.

At about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Trisha Butcher spotted snow from the Paso Robles Municipal Airport, looking northeast toward Parkfield. Butcher posted photos on Facebook of the snow-capped peaks.

Snow was reported on Black Mountain on Tuesday morning, and hail was spotted around Cambria. There were also reports of a small snow flurry at Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

J.T. Katavich wrote on Twitter that there was “enough snowfall in the hills of Creston to make one snowball.”

Showers were moving through the county during the early afternoon, PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said, which should lead to snow on the higher mountain peaks.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County mountains that will be in effect through early Wednesday morning.

Snow levels were expected to lower between 2,500 and 3,500 feet Tuesday morning and could fall as low as 2000 feet by Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Lindsey said that bands of showers moving through the area on Tuesday will probably produce snow at elevations between 2,200 and 2,500 feet.

Areas that could likely see snow include a peak in the area of Highway 46 between Cambria and Paso Robles, the Santa Lucia Mountains above Hearst Castle and on the mountains of the Cuesta Grade, Lindsey said.

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Snow was spotted from the Paso Robles Municipal Airport on Tuesday morning. This photo was taken looking northeast toward Parkfield. Trisha Butcher

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, the temperature at the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout was about 30 degrees, Lindsey said.

“That’s definitely more than cold enough if a shower was to go through that area to produce snow,” he said.

“Mountain peaks above 2,200 feet will probably see snow,” Lindsey said. “Will it be measurable? Probably not, but it’ll probably put a dusting of snow on the higher peaks.”

While temperatures are certainly cold, they won’t be at their coldest until tonight, when rain showers are expected to stop.

“You’ll have more than enough cold temperatures, but the question is will there be any showers to produce any snow,” Lindsey said. “Maybe we’ll luck out and a shower will produce really low-elevation snow.”

Lindsey added that, while precipitation is forecast to stop Tuesday night, “We’ll see what happens. There’s definitely a chance of it.”

Heavenly Mountain sees 19 inches of snow fall over 24 hours on February 3 to February 4, 2019, and 43 inches in seven days.

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