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Storms bring soaking rains

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn got a one-two weather punch Friday and Saturday, with wind and rains expected to wind down today. But unlike the Arctic blast of snow and ice early in the week, the back-to-back storms brought plenty of rain and typical fall temperatures. “This is more of a westerly jet and westerly flow bringing in quite a bit of moisture,” Eric Kurth, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said Saturday. The heaviest rains fell Saturday afternoon with the system expected to gradually ease through the night. “There are some pretty heavy bands moving through,” Kurth said. An additional half-inch of rain was expected through midnight with an another one-third of an inch by this morning, he said. Today could see another quarter of an inch of rain. “By evening it will be mostly over, with just a light shower here and there,” Kurth said. Temperatures through Sunday are expected to remain in the 40s to low 50s in the Sacramento Valley and Auburn area. A winter storm warning was issued for the Sierra Saturday morning, with snow expected to drop to the 4,000 to 5,000-foot elevation overnight Saturday. Total accumulation could reach two feet at the highest peaks by the time the storm moves out this evening. “It will be a denser snow. It won’t be quite as fluffy as we saw earlier,” Kurth said. “Anyone traveling over the passes should be aware of heavy snow causing low visibility. Certainly no one should travel without chains.” Saturday’s storm brought wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph over the crest of the Sierra. Gusts up to 30 mph were also forecast for the east and south sides of the Sacramento Valley. But locally, winds would be only in the 15 to 30 mph range, he said. Monday will bring a break in the rain, with partly to mostly cloudy skies. The wet weather pattern, very common for this time of year, likely will continue through the holidays, Kurth said. Last week’s cold storm was a rare weather phenomenon. “To get a very cold air mass from Canada dropping straight south and combining with a Pacific storm with moisture is pretty unusual,” Kurth said. As of Saturday evening, there were no storm-caused power outages in the Auburn area, according to Matt Nauman, PG&E spokesman. However, slick roads were taking a toll, with several fender benders and spinouts on Interstate 80, according to the California Highway Patrol traffic incident Web site. Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com