Wednesday storm brews

By Lacey Peterson / The Union Democrat

A weather system will move in from the Pacific today, bringing rain to much of Northern California tonight and showers on Wednesday.

There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation during the day today, but rain is more likely to come overnight. The chance of rain increases to 80 percent after 10 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

The brief break between storms gives Mother Lode residents a chance to recuperate from the heavy storms over the weekend.

Flood waters tracked into several businesses in downtown Angels Camp and blocked Highways 4, 26 and 49.

In Tuolumne County, the Sheriff's Office reported that several trees were downed by the strong wind and rain. On Friday, a tree fell into power lines on Kings Court in Soulsbyville.

On Sunday, flooding was reported in several areas including Jamestown, Sonora and Chinese Camp.

A fallen tree in Twain Harte blocked the roadway near South Fork and Middle Camp roads.

On Monday, several crews throughout the area cleaned debris left by the weekendstorms.

So far this season, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties have recorded mild temperatures but heavy rainfall. The season total rainfall for Sonora was 8.21 inches as of today, more than double the 3.22 inches recorded on Dec. 4 last year. The trend is similar in Angels Camp, which has received 11.77 inches of rain so far, compared with 4.02 inches as of Dec. 4 last year.

The average December rainfall in Sonora is 5.15 inches, with an annual average of 32.18 inches.

The Wednesday storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall but mild wind speeds and temperatures.

Sonora and Angels Camp temperatures will peak in the low 60s, and lows will range in the mid-40s Tuesday and Wednesday but could dip into the high 30s Thursday and Friday.

Area residents should prepare for a slight chance of power outages and flooding.

The snow level will remain above 9,000 feet, which means Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley ski areas will likely receive rain instead of snow.

Yosemite National Park announced that, after last weekend's series of storms, Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road are both closed for the season.

Sonora, Ebbetts and Tioga passes are closed for the season. They will likely reopen when weather conditions allow in the spring.

Caltrans advised motorists to prepare for the storm season, have their vehicles winterized and to check road conditions before driving.

For road conditions, call 800-427-7623 or visit www.dot.ca.gov.

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