First snow of the season arrives in the Sierra

Weather

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – Rain swept through the Central Valley before sunrise Friday, and snow is falling on Interstate 80 and Highway 50 above 7000 feet in elevation. 

The upper foothills and the Sierra will be the focus of the remainder of the storm. 

Accumulations are expected to be minor due to the relatively mild temperatures above 32 degrees, but wet and slushy roads remain a danger for drivers. 

Andrew Schwartz, an atmospheric scientist with UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab based in Soda Springs, said snow in the Sierra now will not necessarily translate to a consistent snow season as the upcoming months go by. 

“Current seasonal projections suggest that we are probably going to see lower than average precipitation throughout the next few months and probably into the spring as well, so it’s not looking favorable to pull us out of the drought currently, which is a little disappointing and a little frustrating. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed that that’s not the case,” Schwartz said. 

Friday’s storm will get weaker after 12 p.m. and fade south by the evening. 

Clouds in the Valley are expected to clear during the early morning hours.

An even colder air mass is expected to move into the region Monday and Tuesday, and snow levels could drop to the valley floors. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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