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Rain, snow in foothills forecast

Some needed precipitation is in store for the Mother Lode.

About half of the week ahead could bring showers, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento. 

Possibilities of rain are forecast Saturday night, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The system moving in over the weekend is a weak low-pressure system and is unlikely to bring more than a trace of rainfall to the foothills, according to Weather Service meteorologist Drew Peterson.

Next week’s system is expected to be stronger — especially in terms of precipitation. A few inches of rain are possible, with a few feet of snow possible at higher elevations. 

Temperatures will rise slightly into the weekend, then drop throughout the week. Predicted temps are in the high 60s today and tomorrow, low 60s Sunday and Monday, high 50s Tuesday, and low 50s Wednesday in Sonora and Angels Camp. The lows will see less fluctuation, above 40 this weekend dipping to the mid-30s next week.

These higher temperatures mean that snow levels should not be nearly as low as they were last week. Higher elevations shouldn’t see snow until Tuesday night, predicted to bring a mix with rain. 

Wednesday has a chance of snow for Arnold and Pinecrest, with snow levels down to 3,500 feet. 

The rain and snow come at a time of “meteorological drought” for the area, meaning a lack of water in the weather systems of this part of the season.

In Sacramento, this season marks the driest combined January and February on record since the inception of the eight-station index measurement system. 

Snow levels in the Central Sierra are at 67 percent of normal to date. 

The dry weather is the result of high pressure parked over Central California. 

Peterson said it reminds him of a summer weather pattern. High pressure works to deflect the winter low-pressure systems approaching the state from the Gulf of Alaska.

The predicted rain and snow may offer a temporary respite to the current lack of moisture, but the Climate Prediction Center of the NWS predicts more dry weather in the future. 

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