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Winter on the way; rain, snow in the forecast

Potter Valley resident Jim Wardrip stopped in Dutch Flat to put chains on his truck in route to his sister's home in Virgina City on Interstate 80 Sunday  November 21, 2010.
Potter Valley resident Jim Wardrip stopped in Dutch Flat to put chains on his truck in route to his sister's home in Virgina City on Interstate 80 Sunday November 21, 2010. Merced Sun-Star

SACRAMENTO — Keep those coats, scarves and umbrellas at hand.

The blue skies over parts of the region Sunday morning can’t last. A second cold and wet weather front from the Gulf of Alaska is making its way to the Valley and should bring more cold rain and snow through the area, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

“It’s still not over,” said meteorologist Holly Osborne, who noted that snow continued to fall Sunday above 2,000-feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and scattered showers largely toward the eastern end of the Valley persisted even as the next weather front closed in.

“It’s only part of the Valley that has seen the sun,” Osborne said when asked about the intermittent blue skies west and south of Sacramento. “It’s still snowing in the Sierra.”

The rain that fell Friday, Saturday and overnight brought the season’s rainfall total to 2.18 inches in Merced, about a quarter of an inch above the normal amount for this time of year.

Osborne said 0.84 of an inch fell in Sacramento in the 24 hours ended at 10 a.m. Sunday. Normal rainfall for the season is 3.14 inches as of Sunday morning. Actual rainfall reached 3.98 inches, she said.

Another cold weather front should move through the area tonight, she said.

Even when the storms are done, the cold is expected to continue.

Temperatures dipped to 42 degrees overnight Saturday and early Sunday, Osborne said. Sunday night was slightly cooler, down to 40 degrees in the Valley, as the snow and rain approach.

Dry conditions are forecast to arrive in time for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the traditional heavy day of Christmas shopping that immediately follows Thanksgiving.

Perhaps not so welcome to travelers and shoppers at week’s end will be the forecast of falling temperatures starting Wednesday night and continuing through the long Thanksgiving holiday.

On Interstate 80, Caltrans is rerouting some trucks at Applegate in Placer County because of the snow. And at Colfax to the state line at Nevada, chains are required on all cars except four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires, according to the department.

On Highway 50, chains are required through Pollock Pines and again east of Kyburz to Meyers in El Dorado County, Caltrans reported.

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