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Fair weather predicted for Thanksgiving before rain returns to Sacramento region

This NOAA satellite image shows clouds with rain across the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, the northern portions of the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and northern Rockies. The system is moving out of California, though, and fair weather is expected to settle in for a few days.
This NOAA satellite image shows clouds with rain across the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, the northern portions of the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and northern Rockies. The system is moving out of California, though, and fair weather is expected to settle in for a few days. Associated Press

Holiday revelers looking to dust off their Frisbees, footballs, grills and croquet sets are in luck, because there’s a gorgeous Thanksgiving ahead, followed by a rain chaser next weekend.

“It’s nice, perfect fall weather through the big day,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Baruffaldi on Sunday, predicting a mostly sunny, warm Thanksgiving with highs in the mid- to upper 60s with a high of 68, cooling off at night with lows in some areas dipping into the 30s.

“You may see a little bit of high cloudiness,” Baruffaldi said, but the misty, Twilight Zone-quality fog that’s cloaked the foothills and valleys this weekend will start burning off Sunday afternoon. “We might see some patchy fog in the mornings, but we’re going to see enough warming by Monday so the fog might move out over the rivers and fields.”

The fabulous red, amber and gold leaves enjoyed by Northern Californians this year have lasted longer because the mid-fall weather has been much warmer than average, Baruffaldi said.

“When the leaves change depends on the amount of sunlight and the temperatures, and they seem to be hanging on a little bit longer,” he said

Sacramento got slightly more than a tenth of an inch of rain Saturday. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will bring warm, dry weather with temperatures expected in the mid-to upper 60s. People hitting the holiday road will enjoy pleasant, dry conditions through Friday night, when rain could return for the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

“It might be the ‘atmospheric river’ we’ve been looking for – once known as the ‘Pineapple Express’ – if it holds together as it’s setting up,” Baruffaldi said. Currently, the weather gods “are trying to give us a pretty stormy weekend spilling into Tuesday after Thanksgiving that could give us a couple of inches.”

Snow-sports enthusiasts will still have to rely on man-made snow because the snow level remains relatively high, dusting the tops of the mountains, Baruffaldi said. As the weather turns wetter next weekend, “it might give us a nice blanket of snow,” Baruffaldi said.

As for the change from fair to foul, the “uncertainty starts Friday night.”

Call The Bee’s Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072.

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