Spring-like weather returning after snow, rain

By Margie Thompson, The Union Democrat, @margielou

If you are traveling east of Sonora or Angels Camp today, be prepared for snow.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for more snow at Twain Harte and above, with less than 1-1/2 inches total accumulation, most of it before this evening.

Twain Harte received only a trace of snow overnight Thursday and Friday morning.

Chance of precipitation is 20 percent tonight, with clear skies forecast for the weekend.

A snow driving reminder: All drivers, including those with four-wheel-drive vehicles, must carry chains in chain-control areas. California Highway Patrol OfficerNick Norton advises drivers to chain up as soon as they reach chain-control signs, even if it seems unnecessary at that point. He said that driving conditions can worsen at a moment's notice.

Attempting to drive without chains past a chain control checkpoint can endanger drivers and others on the road.

A 50 percent chance of rain is expected today in Sonora and Angels Camp, with highs in the mid-40s. Lows tonight will be near 30, with a 20 percent chance of rain. No winds higher than 10 mph are expected.

According to NWS meteorologist Tom Dang, the heaviest part of the cold front, bringing most of the system's precipitation, moved through yesterday.

The Central Sierra Nevada above 5,000 feet received 3 to 5 inches of new snow in Thursday's storm.

Dang reports that, regionally, precipitation levels are still slightly higher than average.

The latest Department of Water Resources snow survey, in late January, showed the state's snowpack slightly below normal for this time of year.

Sonora itself has received 16.73 inches of precipitation so far this year, mostly rain, with the average at the end of January being 17.02.

The tail end of the low-pressure system isn't likely to produce much rain, and weather reports still indicate a return to milder weather next week.

The Union Democrat
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