Snow falling in Santa Margarita Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. Credit: Hugh Fordyce | Courtesy

For the first time since 2006, Atascadero resident Laurie Kershner woke up Thursday morning to snow in SLO County.

Running out with her dog to catch the “giant snowflakes,” Kershner said she sent a video to her daughter, and reminisced about waking her up to see the snow all those years ago.

This week’s winter storm brought up to an inch of snow in the San Luis Obispo County mountains on Thursday, according to a forecast by the National Weather Service.

The snow came early Thursday morning in elevations higher than 1500 feet, seen from Santa Margarita, Morro Bay and more.

From Thursday night through Saturday, the Service predicts 3 feet of snow above 3500 feet and 6 inches around 2000 feet elevation. By Saturday night, SLO County is expected to see 24 to 36 inches of snow total. 

High winds and rainfall will continue until Tuesday night, with winds reaching up to 65 mph.

People in the areas of Santa Margarita Lake, Caliente Range and La Panza Range are advised not to travel, as tree damage and blowing snow create hazardous conditions for drivers. If necessary, however, the Service cautions that a flashlight, food and water should be kept in the vehicle in case of emergency.

Sections of traffic on SR 58 are being escorted by California Highway Patrol (CHP) due to the snow, according to the CalTrans website.

Kershner said the snow was “exciting” but fleeting — it lasted about 15 minutes where she was and melted as soon as it hit the ground. But she’s expecting a few more snowy mornings in the days ahead.