Christmas snow adds to high precipitation total for Nevada County  |

Christmas snow adds to high precipitation total for Nevada County 

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

Residents in Nevada County got something of a white Christmas Tuesday as precipitation fluctuated between rain and snow in Grass Valley — something that is expected to continue through today.

"It's one of those levels where snow levels fluctuated a few hundred feet," said Tom Dang, a National Weather Service forecaster. "It just happened to be at your level."

Whereas elevations between 2,500 and 3,000 feet saw a mix of rain and snow, areas higher up
are expected to accumulate between a foot and 15 inches before the wet system dissipates, Dang said.

"Higher up areas are probably getting a really good dose of snow right now," Dang said.

A winter storm warning was in effect Tuesday for areas above 3,000 feet, with only an advisory for areas down to 2,500 feet, Dang said.

Areas of Nevada County were expected to get rain overnight possibly dropping an inch or two of snow, Dang predicted as of press time Tuesday.

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"It won't be anything too bad," he said.

With December drawing to a close, the Sierra Nevada is on par for a much wetter winter than last year.

As of Tuesday, 32.1 inches of precipitation has fallen on the area — getting close to last year's 41.6 inch total for the entire water year, which ends in September, according to the California Department of Water Resources. This time last year less than 10 inches of precipitation had accumulated.

In fact, the 2012-13 water year is on par with the 2010-11 water year which totaled 72.7 inches.

The average water year is 50 inches, according to nearly a century of measurements. For December, it is between 15 and 20 inches of precipitation.

"The great thing is we've seen so much snow, it will be there for quite some time," Dang said.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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