Union Democrat staff

Snow down to 2,000 feet and a possible full week of winter weather are forecast for the Mother Lode, capping a long dry spell.

Tonight and tomorrow will be wet, and lower temperatures and chances of showers will follow through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Beginning after 4 p.m. today, an 80 percent chance of rain will bring less than of 0.10 inch.

This will build tomorrow to 0.25 to 0.50 inch accumulation, with a 100 percent chance of rain. A low temperature of about 35 degrees tonight will rise to about 44 tomorrow.

The snow level is expected to drop to 2,000 feet Tuesday night, with a 70 percent chance of precipitation. No significant accumulation is expected at the lowest snow level, but hazardous driving conditions will be a threat, and chain controls will likely be in effect.

The low temperature will be about 24 degrees, with light and variable wind. Higher elevation locations will see much more snow Tuesday day and night.

Twain Harte can expect 2 to 6 inches of snow for the 24-hour period, while Arnold can expect 5 to 11 inches. For the entirety of the system, anywhere above 3,000 feet may see 6 to 10 inches, increasing to more than 1 foot at local area mountain peaks.

Snow on the roads, limited visibility and possible local power outages are the main warnings issued by the NWS for this system.

Wednesday will offer a brief respite for the Mother Lode, with a mostly sunny forecast fading to partly cloudy overnight, with highs in the upper 40s and lows in the upper 20s.

This looks like a great day for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports, said Jeff Hauff, Dodge Ridge spokesman. He said this system should bring "perfect snow quality," with dry powder and cold temperatures.

Thursday through Sunday will host chances of rain in the foothills and snow in the high country.

Weather is expected to clear up and warm again starting Sunday.