Rain returns to Auburn area with a vengeance

Auburn State Recreation Area a magnet, no matter what the weather
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A new round of rain pummeled the Auburn area Wednesday, sending rocks and mud sliding onto some roads and raising stream levels. The National Weather Service recorded 1.23 inches of rainfall at Auburn in the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Wednesday. A downpour later in the morning added to that total but the precipitation eased off by noon, giving way to partly sunny skies. Karl Swanberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said that Grass Valley, with 1.72 inches, and Sacramento, with just more than an inch during the same time period, also were hit by the warm, early spring storm. The rain is forecast to stay away and temperatures should warm even more Thursday to the mid-60s in Auburn, Swanberg said. There will be a slight chance of rain Friday, with temperatures reaching the low-70s, he said. The chance of rain will be increasing Friday night and periods of rain are expected during the day on Saturday, he said. In the Sierra, the snow level was expected to be above 8,000 feet through Friday, with a mix of snow and rain anticipated Saturday and a chance of snow showers in the mountains Sunday, he said. In the American River canyon on Wednesday, motorists driving on Old Foresthill Road were slowing to avoid rocks that had tumbled onto the paved surface from small slides. While the rain scared away some hikers, runners and bikers, Auburn’s Warshower family, including pet dog Kipper, were enjoying a hike in between raindrops to the Black Hole waterfall, near the confluence. Eric Warshower said he drops into the canyon to run and wanted to share the spectacular waterfall during a rainstorm with his wife, Tehyla and their two sons. “Today’s the right day, with all the rain we’ve had,” Warshower said. Tehyla said she was impressed with one waterfall along the route to the Black Hole, and then found out that it was small compared with their ultimate destination. “It’s beautiful,” Tehyla said. “There’s so much water coming down and I love water. Adding to that, the wildflowers are beginning to come out.” In the Sierra, ski resorts were hoping that snow levels would drop down enough to avoid a round of rain. Jenny Kendrick, spokeswoman for Alpine Meadows, said the resort and Squaw Valley USA had received up to 10 inches of snow during the storm. By the afternoon, the sun was out and ski conditions were exceptional, she said. “We would prefer it to be nice and cold but luckily, we’re near 7,000 feet so it helps,” Kendrick said.