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Let it snow, let it snow in Manteca!
The frontage-road side of this dairy near the terminus of South Union Road is dusted with snow early Monday morning. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Valley commuters on their way to work in the Bay Area early Monday morning were treated to a rare visual treat in the Altamont: white chocolate hills that turned the normally brown and green vista into a winter wonderland magic.

At East Union High School in Manteca, students spent several minutes before the 7:30 a.m. start of classes frolicking outside in the falling snow that did not quite make it to the ground in solid flake form. Other early motorists on their way to work early in the morning reported puffy snowflakes as big as cotton balls falling at the East Union Cemetery and in the rural areas south of Woodward Avenue between Airport Way and Union Road.

The slight drizzle quickly melted the snowflakes as soon as they reached the wet ground. At some of the dairies around the southern terminus of Union Road, the snow that fell on the ground quickly turned into white freezing ice.

Temperatures dropping to 34 degrees – 27 degrees in some areas around 6 a.m., according to some reports  – triggered the early morning snowfall.

No snowy forecasts were coming from the National Weather Service for today; however, widespread frost in the morning today and Wednesday are expected along with chilly 24 to 32 degrees. While today will be mostly sunny with highs from 39 to 48 degrees, the clear skies this evening will become mostly cloudy at night with fog predicted for Wednesday morning as well.

The rest of the week calls for chance of rain after midnight and snow in the higher elevations on Wednesday night and Thursday night. The Weather Service is predicting more wet days ahead with rain likely from Friday night to Sunday evening, and a chance of rain under mostly cloudy skies on Monday.