Wednesday Mar 23 2011
Second storm bringing strong winds, low snow
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
A one-two storm punch dropped a half-inch of rain in Auburn from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. A second — stronger — system is forecast to bring gusty winds along with more rain today through Friday morning, according to Kathy Hoxsie, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “(The storms) are adding a couple of inches of rain — about an inch per day,” Hoxsie said. “That’s enough to cause small stream and urban street flooding. Also some of the main rivers are coming up.” Wednesday’s precipitation brings the total for the weather year (July 1- June 30) to 41.38 inches, according to measurements taken at the Auburn Municipal Airport. The total for this time last year was 23.30 inches and the average is 30.87 inches. The biggest issue today through Thursday will be the wind, which will be sustained at 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, Hoxsie said. “If anyone has loose tree branches or any power lines loosened by the (saturated) soil from other storms, that would be a concern,” she said. “The Auburn area could see some nuisance flooding in areas that tend to flood.” For the Sierra, snow levels were expected to drop to the 2,500-foot level overnight and could go as low as 2,000 feet by Friday. “In the Sierra, the issue shifts to visibility,” Hoxsie said. “With stronger winds and fresh snow, that can reduce visibility pretty quickly.” New snow totals could be as high as 4 feet through today at the highest elevations, she said. Another lighter weather system will bring more rain to the foothills Saturday into Sunday. Then there may be a break. “We have slight chance of rain into next week,” she said. “That’s looking a little less likely. After Tuesday, it looks like it starts to open up and we should get a little warming. We get a little bit of a ridge over the area and start getting more of the southern influence — at least into next weekend.” That means temperatures will rise from the 50s into the low 60s, she said. In Downtown Auburn Wednesday afternoon, Joe and Kathy Bianchi, owners of Gimmie Cake Too!, said the soggy weather of the past couple of weeks has had an impact on business. “We’ve had three sales today,” Joe Bianchi said. “Last week wasn’t as bad. But this week, as (the rain) goes on, people (are staying in). We haven’t seen as many people on the street this week. And a couple of other business owners have told us the same thing.” Reach Gloria Young at email@example.com.