Smoky says: Auburn’s cooling trend to get weekend revisit

Drastic dips in temperature blamed on Alaska trough
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn experienced a taste of autumn to come Tuesday – with colder weather moving in and a sprinkle of rain falling in the morning. Torrid temperatures had been hanging on through this past weekend, so the change in the weather was a welcome relief for Auburn’s Clay Hutton. “We’ve been blasted with heat for the whole summer,” Hutton said. “But I wish it would have rained more. You can never get too much rain in Auburn.” Rain showers hit Downtown Auburn around 9 a.m. but by late afternoon, sunny skies and a slight breeze were making being outdoors a pleasant experience. “When it’s 100 or more, it gets old pretty quickly,” Hutton said. The National Weather Service observed rapid temperature drops in the foothills, with temperatures that had been in the mid- to high-90s on Sunday plummeting by 15 to 20 degrees Monday. With a cold front moving in from the Gulf of Alaska, that trend continued Tuesday with decreases again ranging from 15 to 20 degrees. Meteorologist Cynthia Palmer of the Sacramento office said Auburn was at 64 degrees during the late afternoon Tuesday. And while there may have been a few snowflakes here and there high in the Sierra, skiers and boarders shouldn’t be considering a trek to their ski resort of choice just yet. “It’s still a little early,” Palmer said. The sign outside the Bowman Cal Fire station showed fire danger continuing at the extreme level. One good sign for firefighters who have been busy with several large fires this summer was the lack of lightning accompanying the Alaska trough pushing into the region. Palmer said that there likely won’t be any lightning through the weekend, with the closest strikes recorded Tuesday in Washington State. Temperatures are expected to stay cooler than they have been Wednesday, warm up on Thursday and Friday, then move down again as another system of cooler air arrives from the north. Auburn temperatures should max out at 73 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday, Palmer said. If you’re heading to the mountains, Palmer advises bringing clothes for cooler weather and the possibility of showers or even some snow. Ann Westling, public affairs office for the Tahoe National Forest, said visitors should be aware that fire restrictions are still in effect. “It will take a substantial amount of rain before we move out of restrictions,” she said. “Fire season is not over yet.” Small, portable propane or liquid fuel stoves can be used in the backcountry with a campfire permit. Westling said that people in campgrounds should be particularly careful to ensure campfires are put out before they call it a night. “Embers from a campfire can escape and start a wildfire while you sleep,” she said.