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Warm days give way to cooling trend: Chance of rain returns Saturday

A swimmer dives into the frigid waters of the South Yuba River on Wednesday, when high temperatures reached the lower 90s in western Nevada County. Temperatures are expected to drop 10 degrees by today as they begin a cooling trend that will bottom out Saturday with highs in the 60s and a chance of precipitation. Those entering area waters are cautioned to wear life jackets as waterways are moving swift and cold during this time of year.
Photo: Grace Crain for The Union

A pair of consecutive warm days in western Nevada County Tuesday and Wednesday kept many people indoors and under their air conditioning, or outside looking for ways to keep cool in area waterways such as at the South Yuba River.

High temperatures in Grass Valley and Nevada City topped out at 91 on Wednesday, though a cooling trend begins today across Northern California that will drop high temperatures by about 10 to 15 degrees today, to expected highs in the 60s by Saturday and Sunday, with a chance of rain Saturday as well as the potential for thunderstorms.

“Still seems to be on track,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley said of the change in weather.

“We have a couple of weak weather systems that will move into the area,” she added. “First is (today) through the end of the week, fairly significant cooling, 10 to 15 degrees. Then we will have another one with a little more moisture that will move through this weekend.”

A curious K-9 explores the shallows of the South Yuba River under the Highway 49 bridge with its owner close by during Wednesday’s warm temperatures in the foothills and Central Valley.
Photo: Grace Crain for The Union

“It is not looking like much precipitation at all. A slight chance, and if it does it will be pretty light. At least not widespread, wetting rain.”

A chance for a stronger storm cell or two may produce a couple of lighting strikes and some small hail, with best chances along the Sierra crest.

Following the weekend, a warming trend may return.

“It does look like we could warm up again early to mid-next week,” Chandler-Cooley said.

“Not quite as hot as what we’re seeing (Tuesday and Wednesday), possibly into the 80s or so by midweek and then warming back up and continuing dry conditions.”

Warming temperatures means area waterways such as the South Yuba River are flowing high, fast, and cold and those visiting area rivers should take extra precaution.

The life jacket loaner program offers life jackets to be used free of charge by those visiting the South Yuba River, as long as they are returned afterward.
Photo: Elias Funez

“That snowpack continues to melt and any rivers and streams will be quite cold and running a bit faster,” Chandler-Cooley said. “Always be cautious and wear a life jacket around any area waterway.”

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230

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