The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for snow showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday in the Mother Lode.
A rather drastic change in weather is in store for the area, morphing from spring-like conditions earlier this week to possible rain, snow, thunderstorms and colder temperatures Thursday and Friday.
Potentially abundant small hail and gusty winds are of particular concern, according to the NWS.
Rain and snow showers are likely Thursday, mainly after 4 p.m., with new precipitation amounts of less than one-tenth of an inch expected. Winds will be light at about 9 mph.
Friday could also bring rain and snow, with the snow level dropping as low as 2,300 feet. No significant accumulation is expected, and light and variable winds are forecast. Thunder is also possible.
Sonora on Thursday has an expected high of 51 degrees and low of 30 degrees with a 60 percent chance of precipitation, and Friday has an expected high of 44 and low of 24 degrees, with a 50 percent chance of precipitation, dropping to 20 percent Friday night. These predictions are nearly identical for Angels Camp.
Higher up, near Mi-Wuk Village, the NWS predicts higher chances of precipitation, and up to, but no more than, 4 inches of snow accumulation possible for the two days. According to meteorologist George Cline of the NWS, the highest elevations could see up to 6 inches of snow accumulation.
The cold front is moving in from the Gulf of Alaska area and will leave cold, dry air in its wake.
This could produce mild thunder for a few days in the wake of the system, according to Cline.
Weather reports indicate a return to slightly warmer weather early next week.