A few inches of snow fell late Thursday and early Friday in the Sierra Nevada mountains, as Northern California sees winter-like temperatures in early October.
The National Weather Service said as of Friday morning that high elevations have seen between 1 and 3 inches of snowfall.
Some decent rainfall totals overnight with plenty of lightning over much of western Nevada! Most upper elevations in the Sierra received at least 1-3″ of snowfall so far. Image copyright @AlertWildfire.
Send us your precip/weather reports here! pic.twitter.com/XmWKVsWXgL
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) October 8, 2021
Several more inches of snow are possible Friday at elevations above 8,000 feet, the NWS Reno office said in a bulletin.
The weather service predicts the South Lake Tahoe area will see clear skies Saturday and Sunday, with a chance of snow showers returning Monday.
Strong signals for a cold air mass arriving Mon. A rain/snow mix in the lower elevations with high temps in the 40s & 50s. Freezes are likely Tues and Wed AM. We’ve reached the end of the home gardening season. Prepare your irrigation/sprinklers this weekend! #NVwx #CAwx pic.twitter.com/s1i92w19hz
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) October 7, 2021
Snow levels could fall to about 5,000 feet Monday and Tuesday, as a colder system passes through, though snow showers are expected to be light.
About a half-inch of new snow could fall Monday near South Lake Tahoe, forecasts show, with a nighttime low of 25 degrees.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) October 8, 2021
Meanwhile, the weather service has a fire weather watch in place Monday and Tuesday for much of the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Bay Area due to gusty winds, ranging from 30 mph to 40 mph.
A fire weather watch is a step below a red flag warning, but the advisory could be upgraded before Monday. High temperatures in Sacramento are expected to remain in the 70s this weekend and early next week, with overnight lows near 50 degrees, as the breezy and gusty winds arrive.
We are monitoring the potential for strong winds early next week. Maximum wind gusts could reach 25-35mph, locally up to 45mph, in the western portions of the Sacramento Valley into the northern San Joaquin Valley. Please stay tuned for updates #CAwx pic.twitter.com/G7Tye0k4Sn
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) October 7, 2021
Snow on a wildfire
Snow also fell at the command center for the Caldor Fire burning near the Lake Tahoe Basin, according to the incident management team’s meteorologist.
U.S. Forest Service officials in a morning update said a “dusting of snow” is possible Friday, but due to “extreme/exceptional drought conditions, this moisture will slow the surface spread of the fire (but) will do little to extinguish the fire.”
The wildfire is 93% contained, and all evacuation warnings and orders have been lifted, but more than 1,100 firefighters remain assigned to the 221,775-acre blaze, working to complete containment.
The California wildfire grew to 65,475 acres (102.3 square miles) as of August 19, 2021. [SacBee]
This week, the season’s first significant snow began dropping on the Sierra Nevada, and a chance of showers was forecast for the Bay Area on Friday, all of which was helping fire crews coax long-burning infernos like the Dixie and Caldor fires to near full containment. Fire season, however, is not over.
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