Snow on Mt. Tam

When Cold Weather Hits the SF Bay Area

San Mateo County, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, is known for its temperate climate with mild winters and cool summers. However, over the years, the region has experienced some cold weather records that have impacted local residents and businesses. Ahead of extreme winter weather hitting the Bay this week, we will delve into the cold weather records in San Mateo County, and tips for homeowners to prepare for cold weather. Let’s revisit some notable events and cover what to do when cold weather strikes the SF Bay peninsula.

One of the most significant cold weather records in San Mateo County occurred in January 1949 when the region experienced the coldest temperatures in over a century. On January 12, 1949, the temperature dropped to 20°F in San Francisco, while it plummeted to a bone-chilling 18°F in Half Moon Bay, a coastal town in San Mateo County. The frigid weather lasted for three days and caused immense damage to crops, livestock, and infrastructure. The cold snap was so severe that it resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in agriculture, making it one of the most devastating cold spells in the region’s history.

Apple Weather App Alert: Feb 24 2023

Another significant cold weather record in San Mateo County occurred in December 1990 when a rare snowstorm hit the region. The storm brought over 6 inches of snow in some parts of San Mateo County, leading to power outages, road closures, and school shutdowns. The snowfall caused extensive damage to trees, with many collapsing under the weight of the snow. The storm was so unusual that it made national headlines, with news outlets reporting on the strange sight of palm trees and snow in the same frame.

The effects of cold weather records in San Mateo County can be far-reaching, affecting not just crops and infrastructure but also people’s health. Extreme cold can cause hypothermia, frostbite, and exacerbate existing medical conditions. Homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area should take necessary precautions to prepare for cold weather. Here are some tips for homeowners to prepare for cold weather:

  1. Check insulation: Ensure that your home is adequately insulated to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Check for drafts around doors and windows and seal them.
  2. Maintain heating systems: Regular maintenance of heating systems can ensure that they are in optimal condition during cold weather.
  3. Stock up on emergency supplies: Keep a stock of emergency supplies such as blankets, warm clothing, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food items.
  4. Protect pipes: Pipes can freeze and burst during cold weather, causing extensive damage. Insulate pipes and keep faucets dripping during cold weather to prevent freezing.
Apple Weather App Alert: Feb 24 2023

While San Mateo County is known for its mild climate, it has experienced some significant cold weather records in the past. Although rare, homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area should take necessary precautions to prepare for cold weather to protect themselves, their homes, and their communities. Reach out to us if you need any referrals to trusted contractors in the area that may be able to answer your questions in detail.