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Fall storm bringing snow to the Sierra

By: Bruce Warren, Journal Staff Writer
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Rain showers are predicted for Auburn today, but the white stuff is right around the corner for upper elevations of the Sierra. The National Weather Service is predicting a high today of 61 to 69 with showers likely in the evening. In the Sierra, however, meteorologist Steve Goldstein predicts snowy conditions for Monday. “Anyone looking to go into the Sierra would likely expect winter weather conditions and possibly chain controls,” Goldstein said. “For Monday in the foothills, it looks like wind and rain with at least an 80 percent chance of rain.” The prediction of an early snow in the Sierra excites Bev Mann, coordinator of the children’s ski program for Auburn Ski Club, located at the end of the Boreal parking lot off Interstate 80. “I bought some new skis and I can’t wait to try them out,” Mann said. “I did buy locally. We’re looking for a real enjoyable winter and a lot of days on the slopes.” Already, Goldstein sees more moisture in November and December. “It looks like it could be a weak La Niña winter, but a weak La Niña can mean a wetter winter,” Goldstein said. “We’ve gotten a lot of calls from people asking how this winter will stack up against last year’s. We’ve been telling people there are some signals in the ocean that would be more favorable to bring storms into California this winter as opposed to last winter.” Goldstein enjoys going wherever there’s snow. In particular, he likes to snowshoe and go snow camping, he said. Teresa Kenworthy of Auburn can hardly wait to take her daughter Karly, 15, out on the slopes. Karly, a sophomore, will be skiing for the Placer High School ski team this year and also races with the Auburn Ski Club. “I definitely want to get her out on the slopes,” Kenworthy said. “Last season we didn’t get snow until the end of December and her first ski race was in Wyoming in January.” When is comes to this season’s ski racing, Karly said, “I’m going to try to get out there as soon as I can.” The Kenworthys and other area residents are definitely ready for more snow this winter. “We have a whole bunch of friends who anxiously await the ski season and we ski all season,” Kenworthy said. The Old Farmer’s 2009 Almanac predicts heavier snowfalls this winter season for the Northeast and some central states. However, the almanac predicts above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation from Northern California into Southern Oregon. While there was not much snow last winter, Goldstein is hopeful that this winter will be different. He has more than 15 year’s experience as a meteorologist in predicting weather in the Sierra, including time with the National Weather Service in Reno. “It looks like we will get off to a good start in November and December with wet weather systems moving into California with some regularity,” Goldstein said. “Last year we got off to a good start, but then things started to peter out in March and April. But the feeling is that won’t happen this year.” The Journal’s Bruce Warren can be reached at brucew@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online at Auburnjournal.com.