RAIN THURSDAY didn't stop soccer fans from turning out to watch the Sonora High junior varsity girls play East Union. Showers fell off and on during the day but cleared up in time for the varsity game. (Matt Thurlow/Copyright 2002, The Union Democrat
By SUSAN EVERETT
Sunshine is expected to return to the foothills this weekend, after two storm systems brought rain, snow and winter-like conditions to the Mother Lode this week.
But first, according to the National Weather Service, there is still a 20 percent chance of early evening thunderstorms or hail today.
Thursday, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties saw snow and rain showers throughout the afternoon.
"It really didn't rain much here, but it looked like it was dumping in Sonora and boy, was it dark over there," said Lonnie Johnstone of Groveland.
Sonora temperatures Thursday ranged from an overnight low of 30 degrees to a high of 54.
Snow fell in downtown Sonora shortly before 3 p.m., but melted as it hit the pavement. The snow soon turned to rain showers that cleared out by sunset as the storm moved over the mountains.
Twain Harte experienced "a brief flurry of thunder and lightning right overhead," said Twain Harte resident Laddie Formanek.
Temperatures in Twain Harte ranged from a high of 51 and a low of 26, Formanek said.
Cedar Ridge reported 1.5 inch of snow, which "came down in about 20 minutes," said Michael Tennyson.
Angels Camp also had rainfall Thursday, according to Dennis Dooley, but it seemed to rain in some areas and not others.
"I was at the airport and it was clear," he said. "When I came home last night, there was all kinds of water around the house."
Temperatures in Angels Camp ranged from a low of 31 to a high of 77.
In Murphys, icy conditions were reported Thursday morning with a low of 32. The day's high was 59.
Clear skies covered the foothills this morning.
"It should be not quite as wet as yesterday," said Karl Swanberg of the National Weather Service in Sacramento today.
Swanberg said skies should be mostly clear Saturday and Sunday, with highs ranging into the 70s both days. Overnight lows are expected to be 35 to 45 on Saturday.
A slow warming trend is predicted to continue into the middle of next week.