Sunday Feb 15 2009
Weather system bringing more wind, rain, snow
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
Only moderate impact locally as storm moves through
A large, slow-moving storm that brought wind and rain to the foothills and plenty of snow to the Sierra over the weekend will continue to impact the region through Tuesday. “It’s coming right off the Pacific,” National Weather Service forecaster Steve Goldstein said. “It has picked up cold air from the south and mixed with warm air from the tropics.” A wind advisory that was to expire at 4 p.m. Sunday was extended through 10 a.m. today, with some gusts expected to reach 50 mph through the night, Goldstein said. Snow levels were expected to drop to 2,500 feet overnight and slowly rise to 3,000 feet today. He estimated an additional 2 to 3 inches of rain for the foothills through Tuesday and up to three feet of new snow above 7,000 feet. Despite the weather, the California Highway Patrol’s Sacramento dispatch office reported no major traffic incidents in the area. But chains were mandatory Sunday on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit. The weekend snow and rain maker is the largest system to pass through the area this year. But by midweek, it’ll be gone, with a dry weather pattern — sun and clouds — in the forecast through Friday, Goldstein said. Alpine Meadows ski resort got a couple of feet of snow from the storm — seven and a half feet on the upper mountain over the past week — and it was still coming down Sunday afternoon, to the delight of skiers and resort employees, according to Deanna Gescheider, director of marketing and sales. “We actually have a lot of people out here today,” Gescheider said. “The snow is awesome and it is beautiful, so they’re having a lot of fun.” Alpine Meadows’ snow pack is nearing normal levels for this time of year, with an overall base of 90 inches and 147 inches at the summit, she said. The resort saw some extra excitement Sunday, with filmmaker Warren Miller onsite shooting a movie with Errol Kerr, an area resident and member of the Jamaica ski team. “The plan is to try to continue to film Monday,” Gescheider said. “We’re looking for storm footage, so it is perfect timing.” Locally, PG&E was prepared for the worst as the storm passed through, but only saw scattered outages Saturday and Sunday. “At the moment, Placer County looking to be in very good shape,” PG&E media spokesman Paul Moreno said. An early morning downed tree that fell on a power line doused the lights for 15 Granite Bay customers Sunday. Crews expected to have repairs completed by 5:30 p.m. In Weimar, 37 customers lost power Saturday when a tree branch fell on a power line. “At the moment crews are working on outages throughout the region, but the number is pretty low — just 2,000 total in Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Yuba and Sutter countries,” Moreno said. “Most of the customers — 1,600 — are in Sierra County.” In Auburn, Fire Department battalion chief Bill Zander said things were pretty quiet throughout the storm, so far. “We were pretty fortunate last night,” he said. “We didn’t have any wind damage to speak of and got through pretty unscathed. I’m sure there are some trees down, but unless a tree falls on a residence or creates a hazard, we wouldn’t be called.” The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at Auburnjournal.com.