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‘Seasonal’ temps replace heat wave

People took to the South Yuba River over the weekend to cool down from the unseasonably hot temperatures. This week temperatures return to normal for the season, with highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s. People are reminded to pack out what they bring in, if they go to a local waterway to cool down.
Photo: Elias Funez

After several days with highs in the triple digits, temperatures in Nevada County will drop slightly to numbers typical of a normal summer season.

According to meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service, “normal” this time of year generally means upper 80s near lower elevations and 70s close to higher elevations.

Chandler-Cooley said this morning’s low of 63 will be followed by a high of 90. Thursday, the National Weather Service anticipates a morning low of 61 followed by a high of 86. Friday will have a high of 87 and a low of 58, with temperatures reaching a trough in the trend and moving back up to 89 on Saturday after a morning low of 60. Chandler-Cooley said these numbers look like the typical temperatures expected around this season.

In Truckee, today’s 51 low will be followed by a high of 84. Thursday will peak at 81, after a morning low of 49. Friday’s low is predicted to drop down to 46 before rising to 80, with Saturday heating up marginally with a high of 83 and low of 46. Sunday’s high is around 84 before dropping to a low of 49.

“Cooler, more seasonal summer temperatures are expected throughout the weekend,” Chandler-Cooley said. “We’ll warm up a little bit again early next week.”

Chandler-Cooley said although the temperatures will inevitably rise again, “it won’t be like the last heat wave” because temperatures will stay around the 90s.


Although this week’s temperatures in the 80s come as a relief to a populace enduring 100-plus degree weather in the weeks prior, Chandler-Cooley said people ought to mind their water intake and stay in the shade.

The region has endured significant heat waves this summer. The 2020-2021 winter snowpack essentially evaporated over the course of the month of April. According to the South Yuba Citizen’s League website, the flows recorded on July Fourth were the fourth lowest recorded at Jones Bar in the past 63 years.

The Nevada Irrigation District is enforcing mandatory reductions in water consumption. People are expected to water before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. daily.

SYRCL’s Communications and Engagement Director Betsy Brunner said the warm temperatures correlate with an increase in visitors to the region.

“As temperatures rise, we have seen visitation numbers spike to over 500 people in four hours — averaging about 100 per hour — at Highway 49 last Saturday,” Brunner said. “People are also arriving earlier in the day, sometimes as early as 5 a.m., to find a space at the river.”

Brunner said her team is mindful of the environmental impact visitors bring with their trash and sunscreen, but that SYRCL is also concerned about people who are so desperate to visit the river that they park irresponsibly, opening car doors into oncoming traffic, walking around blind corners to get to river entry points and parking over the white line in a way that obstructs access for emergency vehicles responding to physical ailments or fires.

“Given that lots and spaces are filling up quickly, we are encouraging people to have a Plan B, whether that means a shaded hike or a walk along the creek,” Brunner said.

Brunner said this week’s lower temperatures may mean there are slightly fewer visitors. However, the average number of tourists the season brings offers her team of river ambassadors plenty of work.

“We have been averaging between 1,000 and 1,500 (visitors) just between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at 49 and Bridgeport,” Brunner said. “Many more show up before we arrive as well as throughout the afternoon and into the evening, so these numbers are well below the actual total numbers.”

Brunner said SYRCL is looking for more river ambassadors.

She encourages people using the Highway 49 river access point specifically to not walk down to the water itself using the side chutes due to unsteady ground and any dizziness caused by the heat.

According to the SYRCL’s website, the temperature of the water itself is not necessarily any hotter than prior years, but the Yuba’s fans ought to look out for toxic and non-toxic algae that could be present in the river’s curves.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com


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