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Wacky weather wears on residents

Rain likely to continue to mid-June, forecaster says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The wet, cold weather has some local residents frustrated and confused as Auburn heads into a June that is more like winter than late spring. Newcastle resident Jean Reinking, who was walking the path at Recreation Park Tuesday, said she and her husband are usually able to get to their cabin at Ebbetts Pass this time of year, but there is still more than six feet of snow preventing them from getting in. Reinking said Saturday’s rain canceled their outdoor plans. “We had planned on having an outdoor barbecue, but that took care of that,” she said. So what can Auburn expect for the rest of this week? “A continued cool,” said Johnnie Powell, forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento. “(Wednesday) rain is still likely, especially in the morning with a high in the upper 50s. Thursday (should be) partly cloudy, with highs in the upper 60s for Thursday and Friday.” The weekend isn’t expected to show much change, Powell said. “Friday night, déjà vu: rain, snow in the mountains,” he said. “The weekend doesn’t look good. (The area is) back to rain with highs for Saturday and Sunday in the low 60s, with a chance of rain and thunderstorms.” Powell said there is a basic explanation for the weather being the way it is. “The fronts are continuing to move through,” he said. “The Pacific High, the ridge that keeps our storms away … hasn’t built up yet, so we are still in a winter pattern even though it says June. It looks that way for the next couple of weeks, too. So it delayed the heat wave. It’s keeping the temperatures 15 to 20 degrees below normal. It has not been built up to keep storms heading toward Washington and Oregon where they belong.” Powell said this is a globally-related occurrence, and may not cause similar weather again next year. It is also not totally unheard of for this time of year. “It all comes in cycles,” he said. “We have got records that go back a long time. It won’t even make the top ten (for coolest and rainiest weather at this time of year). It’s unusual but not rare.” Powell said the rain could continue through mid-June and temperatures will most likely be back to their seasonal norm by the end of June or early July. Powell said Auburn is expected to receive about one-third of an inch of rain with the expected weather this week. The Sierra Pool at Recreation Park opened Saturday, and the weather didn’t keep the community away, said Sheryl Petersen, recreation services manager for the Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District. “Saturday we had about 50 to 60 brave souls,” Petersen said. The pool is open to the public on weekends and is scheduled to be open daily beginning June 13. Auburn resident Sally Stanley said for her the weather could be doing more harm than good. “At this point it’s not beneficial,” Stanley said. “Our cherry crops, our apricots, our peaches, it’s going to cause damage to those. At this point the ground is saturated still. It’s all running into the ocean. It’s not doing much good. We can’t put our patio furniture out. It’s still sitting in the garage.” Stanley said the weather is also impacting her chocolate Labrador, Champ, who was having fun at Recreation Park Tuesday morning. “It’s hard for the animals, too, especially dogs,” she said. “Of course he doesn’t mind the rain, but I do, and he goes out under my conditions.” Auburn resident Mae Waldron said she had to shorten a camping trip at Rollins Lake over the weekend because of the rain, and she is wondering how the forecasted rain will affect Saturday’s high school graduation. Waldron said the weather has also affected her gardening. “You plant tomatoes, and it hails and they all die,” she said. “It’s kind of concerning, because it’s just such drastic changes and never ending.” Newcastle resident Helen Clark said she thinks overall the weather is good for nature and will result in less dry patches of land as summer comes to the area. Auburn resident Abbie Hohlbein said June is the perfect time to let her young children go out to play, but the weather isn’t cooperating. “They want to be outside a lot, and if it’s unexpectedly raining and cold, it’s frustrating when it’s expected to be nice and warm this time of year,” Hohlbein said. Forecasters have been getting a lot of calls and questions about the unseasonal weather, Powell said. “That is every phone call we have gotten today,” Powell said. “We have gotten about 15 calls and every last one of them has been the same question: Where’s summer?” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com