Old man winter has been in full procrastination mode with the end of November feeling akin to summer in the Sierra foothills.
But winter is scheduled to arrive today — and it is here to stay.
A deep low-pressure system will bring a cold air mass with overnight lows below freezing and daytime highs inching up to the low 40s throughout much of the week, said Tom Dang of the National Weather Service.
The system, currently suspended over the western portion of Canada, will travel to Northern California without much precipitation.
High-elevation portions of the Sierra might get snow accumulation to the order of 3 to 6 inches, beginning late Monday into today, Dang said — bad news for the increasingly impatient skiers waiting for the season’s first storm. Western Nevada County is unlikely to receive any precipitation until Friday, when forecasters believe the spell of dry weather might finally break.
“We don’t have huge confidence, but the cold overnight lows combined with a chance of precipitation could bring snow levels down to as low as 1,000 feet,” Dang said.
In the meantime, the overnight freezing temperatures carry all of the typical cautions with such weather, Dang said.
Be on the lookout for bursting pipes, bring plants indoors, take care of outdoor pets and animals and ensure vehicles have adequate antifreeze.
“It is the first widespread freeze,” he said.
The cold snap that will hit the area is the result of an unusual weather pattern that happens about once every five years, Dang said.
Monday’s daytime of high of 61 will be supplanted by a daytime high of 46 for today, 44 for Wednesday and 42 for Thursday.
The weekend might feature a gradual and slight warming trend, but Dang said wintertime temperatures are likely to prevail for the foreseeable future.
“Don’t expect the warm days to come back anytime soon,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.