Cold snap to end; temps near normal |

Cold snap to end; temps near normal

A snowstorm brought slick roads to Nevada County that have spawned several accidents.
Annita Kasparian |

After nearly a week of overnight freezing temperatures that brought havoc to roads in Nevada County and throughout Northern California, the cold snap is set to break.

Overnight lows set a record Saturday night into Sunday throughout the region, said forecaster Drew Peterson of the National Weather Service.

The Nevada County Air Park reported an overnight low of 21 degrees, and it was negative 6 just up the hill in Soda Springs. Overnight lows have inched incrementally higher since then, but the freezing temperatures at night and the thawing temperatures in the afternoons created a cycle dangerous for area motorists.

What happens is that cold temperatures cause pipes and water mains to burst, which creates widespread leakages during the day. Also, some snow thaws and melts, running out into the road, which creates slick and icy portions of the roadway at night when freezing temperatures prevail for several hours.

Tonight, the mercury will delve below freezing only briefly in Grass Valley and other lower-elevation portions of the county, meaning that the roads will improve, Peterson said.

Overnight Friday into Saturday will be the first night temperatures will stay above water’s freezing point, but higher-elevation areas and shadowy pockets will continue to present potentially slick spots throughout the day.

By Sunday morning, the roads should be in much better shape as the preceding overnight low is predicted to be 37 degrees. Sunday’s daytime high will reach the low 60s, Peterson said.

“We will continue to see temps closer to normal,” he said.

The imminent forecast shows a dearth of precipitation with the possibility of rain for the foothills next week.

“There is a slight chance of rain for next Wednesday,” Peterson said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call 530-477-4239.

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