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Unseasonal: Mild temperatures 10 degrees above region’s 30-year average

A gold panner prepares to sift through a pan full of soil on the shores of the South Yuba River near the Highway 49 bridge Tuesday. High temperatures will remain in the 70s before dropping into the 60s through the weekend.
Photo: Elias Funez

Nevada County may have had the jump on precipitation this year with October’s atmospheric rivers, but the advance is tapering off.

Any rain for the area won’t arrive until at least Monday. According to the National Weather Service, the region’s temperatures will remain moderate and dry through the weekend.

Meteorologist Cory Mueller said barring today’s high of 71, the week’s temperatures will peak in the mid-60s.

“We’ll see pretty quiet weather for the next several days, but especially mild temperatures in the next few days,” Mueller said.

Mueller said he expects Thursday’s high to reach 67, Friday to reach 64, Saturday to reach 63, and Sunday to peak at 64.

Dry conditions will accompany the mild, unseasonal temperatures, Mueller said, with last night’s temperature hovering around the low-50s.

Mueller said the rest of the week’s evening temperatures will vary between the low and mid-40s.

As for precipitation, Mueller said there will be no moisture through the weekend.

After October’s atmospheric region brought floods to western Nevada County, the Nevada Irrigation District reported this water year’s total precipitation at 211% of a preceding eight-year average.

“We saw a great start to the water year,” Mueller said of the period of time that starts Oct. 1. “October was extremely wet. It hasn’t rained much at all in November, so we are not where we were before.”


According to the South Yuba River Citizen’s League website, the atmospheric rivers that swept through the region between Oct. 23 and 25 dropped between 7 to 12 inches of rain.

The environmental nonprofit reported that the “first flush” water quality monitoring results are in, a yearly assessment of people’s impact on the Yuba’s water.

According to SYRCL’s website, the first flush refers to the first large rainstorm of the fall.

“Over the dry summer, dirt and dust, leaves, and pollen build up in the watershed — much of this is a natural part of the ecosystem,” said SYRCL’s resident hydrologist Karl Ronning in a press release. “Other things that aren’t a natural part of the ecosystem like dog excrement, heavy metals from vehicle braking, and fire retardant also collect.”

Ronning said the assessment’s results indicate “an overwhelming amount of human DNA” as well as high readings of E. coli. SYRCL noted that E. coli levels always read high during first flush events.

Mueller said the jump start offered in October is fading fast. At this point in what is usually a wetter time in the winter season, Grass Valley has received 145% of the average precipitation recorded in the area over a 30-year period.

“We are getting into what’s normally a little wetter time of year,” Mueller said. “The average precipitation per day goes up, but if you keep getting no rain it’s going to go down.”

Mueller said there may be a system that arrives early to the middle of next week that could bring rain, but the future remains uncertain.

“The placement and the timing of the system is such that it could miss us or not bring as much moisture (as anticipated),“ Mueller said. ”There’s a lot of differences in possible solutions, so confidence is low.“

On Nevada County’s eastern end, temperatures remain relatively higher than last year.

“It’s pretty warm, that’s really the main story,” Mueller said, adding that like the foothills, the Sierra’s ridges are receiving the sun’s rays generally 10 degrees hotter than usual.

Grass Valley’s temperature average is around the mid-50s this time of year, Mueller explained, but the region is recording temperatures as high as 70 right now. To the east, the Sierra Crest usually records temperatures in the upper 30s to 40s this time of year. Truckee’s highs will hit the mid-59s to 60s.

Mueller said the crest will receive gusts up to 30 miles per hour today, and described the climate there as “a little breezy.”

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


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