Central Sierra, foothills get a blanket of snow

jsmith@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 20, 2013 

There were still signs a fast-moving snowstorm had hit communities in the foothills and the Central Sierra when residents awoke Wednesday morning.

While Yosemite Valley received only about an inch of snow, reports from Mariposa and Midpines suggested frostier conditions.

"There was probably about 2 inches when we got up," said Jana McCabe, a Yosemite National Park ranger who lives in Mariposa. "There was significant snow on the plants and trees."

Wednesday morning, motorists needed chains on Highway 140 heading into the park, but there were no restrictions for roads on the valley floor, McCabe said.

"It definitely got a little slick, and coming up on Mariposa we saw several signs of people skidding out and one car in a ditch by the side of the road," she said.

"For us to get snow in Mariposa, but not in the valley is unusual," she added. By the afternoon, most of the snow had melted, according to reports from the area.

Tuolumne County also was digging out Wednesday after the same snowstorm dumped several inches there Tuesday.

The storm dropped 8 inches of snow in Twain Harte and 9 inches at Cedar Ridge, both of which are at more than 3,500 feet. It also brought snow to the lower elevations, including several inches in downtown Sonora.

Officials said the snow even dusted the foothill county's lowest point, at about 900 feet. The snow started in the early afternoon and ended by 7 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman Nicole Liebelt said several thousand customers in Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and Madera counties lost power in the storm. Most had power restored by Wednesday afternoon.

The winter storm from the Gulf of Alaska brought the first significant rainfall in several weeks to Northern California.

Temperatures are expected to gradually rise starting Friday afternoon and reach the mid-60s by the middle of next week, according to the National Weather Service.

The Modesto Bee's Kevin Valine contributed to this report. Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service