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Wild weather forecast for local area

Snow could drop to 2,000 feet
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Another storm is sweeping through the foothills, and residents can expect lots of fresh snow to play in over the weekend. According to Angus Barkhuff, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, rain is expected through Wednesday with snow showers possible in the higher foothill elevations. The weather pattern is expected to dry out Friday, with another following it over the weekend. Temperature highs are expected to be in the low to mid 40s and temperature lows are forecasted for the mid to upper 30s, Barkhuff said. Snow is expected to drop down to 4,500 feet Wednesday. The foothills could receive one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches of rain and one to two inches of snow as low as 2,000 feet, Barkhuff said. According to Barkhuff, one to two feet of snow was expected to fall Tuesday night above 7,000 feet, and by Wednesday afternoon the weather service is forecasting six to 12 inches of snow at 4,500 feet. Mountain temperatures are expected to drop down to zero degrees with more snow on Thursday, Barkhuff said. The current storm is fairly average for this time of year, but it’s colder than it has been, Barkhuff said. “The one over the weekend, it’s kind of far out to say what we are looking at,” he said. A chance of snow showers in higher foothill elevations is expected for Wednesday night and Thursday with more rain in the forecast over the weekend. The National Weather Service is also forecasting winds up to 70 mph across higher mountain passes and 40 mph in the foothills through 4 p.m. Wednesday. Jennie Bartlett, marketing and sales manager for Sugar Bowl, said it’s been a great season for the resort so far. “It’s been very well,” Bartlett said Tuesday. “To date we are definitely seeing more skiers and riders.” With the continuing snowy weather, the resort is hoping to beef up business even more, Bartlett said. “We had a fairly large crowd today,” she said Tuesday. “Come Thursday and Friday … we are having employee shuttle days so we can maximize parking for all our guests. (Wednesday) with the bigger storm we are forecasting a little lighter business levels, but then definitely ramping up for Thursday and Friday.” The resort is currently seeing about half of its annual 500 inches of snowfall, Bartlett said. Boreal Mountain Resort is seeing record-setting snowfall this year, according to Jon Slaughter, marketing director for the resort. November and December yielded 333 inches, 27.75 feet, of snow for the resort, breaking the 1994 record of 225 inches, 18.75 feet, Slaughter said. “The snow conditions could not be better,” said Shaydar Edelmann, Boreal Mountain operations manager. “We do not generally see this type of snow coverage until February or March.” Ken Grehm, director of the Placer County Public Works Department, said the department is ready to face whatever challenges the weather might bring. “Our people are on alert,” Grehm said. “We do keep some people on hours at any time to handle things like if a tree goes down. Most of it is having our people available and stacking up materials.” Grehm said the department is delivering things like sandbags for preventative measures. Last week the department was working 24 hours a day, Grehm said. “I’m not sure if we are going to go into that yet,” he said. “Fortunately there is supposed to be a little respite in between (storms).” Problems that need to be taken care of in most storms are fallen trees, flooding and roads that need to be plowed, Grehm said. “We always ask everyone just to be careful when they are out there driving, particularly in those worst parts of the storm,” he said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com