Spring’s cold surprise – More signs of snow for coming week
Old-timers know Sierra weather can get radical in the spring, so many were not surprised with Friday’s snowstorm. It turns out a similar storm could arrive Tuesday.
“In springtime, you can get all kinds of things happening with cold fronts hitting warm air,” said Harry Stockman of the Qwikcast.com weather service. “There’s always a potential for snow this time of year.”
Records indicate snow fell on May 8 two years ago, and a storm similar to Friday’s occurred in late April of 1999.
The cold front that rolled in Friday morning was out of the Gulf of Alaska, and it slammed into warm California air. That caused snow in Grass Valley and Nevada City, as well as a Sacramento tornado that damaged vehicles on Interstate 80.
Nevada County California Highway Patrol Officer Randy Corbett reported numerous fender benders and cars sliding off roads by late afternoon, but no serious accidents.
Skies are supposed to clear somewhat today, with highs climbing back to upper 50s and lows tonight in the upper 30s.
Temperatures could reach the upper 60s Sunday and Monday under partly cloudy conditions, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento. Lows are expected to be in the lower 40s.
Another storm will arrive Tuesday, Stockman said, “and it looks very similar, with cold air, possible showers and snow in the higher elevations and possibly in Grass Valley.”
Spring storms cause Emil Baldoni of Weiss Brothers Nursery in Grass Valley to not even bother displaying flowers and vegetables until mid-April.
“We know about Nevada County and about the weather,” Baldoni said, “but we really get going the first of May because the ground has to be warm for (plants) to do anything. The old-timers didn’t plant until Memorial Day weekend.”
New residents and those with short memories lose plants every year, said Doug White, co-owner of Prospector’s Nursery in Nevada City. Planting in the Nevada City area is usually done around May 1, he said.
“If you want to be real frost-conscious about your vegetables, wait for Memorial Day weekend,” White said.
Sophie Walters at the 5 Mile House restaurant reported a few inches of snow had fallen by late Friday afternoon. But the CHP on Friday was requiring chains for those wanting to drive on Highway 20 from Nevada City to I-80.
Ski resorts in the Donner-Lake Tahoe area reported a dose of new powder, and partly cloudy conditions for Sunday could mean excellent skiing.
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