More winter-like weather in week’s forecast

By Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat January 22, 2013 12:16 pm

The Mother Lode could see rain Wednesday to break up its dry spell, but temperatures should remain warm. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 20 percent chance of rain, and low temperatures will increase slightly as the storm system moves in.

 

“This system that’s coming through on Wednesday is pretty weak, and it goes across Northern California pretty quickly,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Brooke Bingaman said. 

The Mother Lode will again see clear skies on Thursday and Friday, before another system moves into the area on Saturday and Sunday. Mostly cloudy skies and rain are forecast for the weekend.

Winter in the Mother Lode was off to a wet and chilly start, but recent weeks have brought more diverse weather conditions. 

Temperatures rose to highs in the 60s late last week, shortly after a cold spell brought nearly record-breaking overnight lows to the area and dropped snow levels down around 2,100 feet.

The warmer temperatures are the result of a ridge — an elongated area of high atmospheric pressure — moving inland from the Pacific and lingering over Northern California, according to Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

The frigid air from the north that contributed to the cold front is being pushed eastward by the high-pressure system, leaving Northern California with warmer days, Bingaman said. 

Overnight lows have seen a less dramatic increase, remaining in the 30s during the warm spell because there have not been clouds to trap the heat, according to Bingaman. 

High temperatures will decrease as the pressure system moves eastward, reaching only the high 40s on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s not really abnormal,” Bingaman said of the fluctuating temperatures. “During the winter time, you’re always going to have spells where it gets a little warmer and spells where it gets a little colder.”