Expect drenching on Thursday followed by two mornings of freezing temperatures in Sacramento

Rivers swell after December storms, sending more debris and lifting boats higher

Storms that swept through Northern California in December washed trees and junk down the Sacramento River, causing concern for boaters.
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Storms that swept through Northern California in December washed trees and junk down the Sacramento River, causing concern for boaters.

A wind-blown drenching is forecast Thursday in the Sacramento area, prompting warnings of surging rivers and possible mudslides in the Sierra.

The National Weather Service is calling for more than an 1.5 inches of rain Thursday in Sacramento. Along with the heavy rainfall, forecasters say winds will be strong, gusting to near 40 mph in the region.

Increased water releases from Folsom Lake to 35,000 cubic feet per second will cause the American River to run higher and faster than normal.

Due to rising river levels, Sacramento County officials announced Wednesday that Discovery Park, along with the Howe Avenue access point and miles 0 to 3 on the American River Parkway bike trail, are closed through Monday morning. Additionally, Watt Avenue and Gristmill Parks, Campus Commons Golf Course, William Pond and the American River Parkway multiuse trail at mile 20 will be closed through Sunday, according to the county.

Sacramento city and county departments, along with other agencies, have been working to notify people along the river about the potential for rising water. Because of the changing nature of the river, officials advise people to use caution around area waterways and to stay on high ground.

The California Nevada River Forecast Center on Wednesday afternoon estimated that water from the Sacramento River at the Fremont Weir is expected to reach the 32-foot mark and flow into the Yolo Bypass just after 2 p.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service in Reno on Wednesday issued a flood warning for the Truckee River near Truckee, affecting Nevada and Placer counties.

An atmospheric river will produce a period of intense rain on saturated soils with snow levels near or above 8,000 feet on Thursday. The weather service warns that significant runoff through creeks and streams is likely to cause the Truckee River near Truckee to exceed flood stage by early Thursday.

The Pacific storm will cause streams to rise and could produce some slipping of mud on Sierra hillsides scarred by wildfire. Wind gusts are likely to down a few trees, given that some still are heavy with leaves.

The quick-hitting storm vacates the area on Friday, but the weather service is forecasting a low at freezing that morning – and even colder temperatures Saturday in Sacramento. By early Friday, snow levels could drop to the 2,000- to 4,000-feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada, according to the weather service.

Fishing guide Anthony Langes explains what happened when he and three other anglers were taken by boat from an island below the Nimbus Dam by firefighters on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. The American River is rising as flows below the dam are increase


Cheryl Hawes of The Plant Foundry in Sacramento shares tips on protecting tender succulents, citrus and other plants from frost.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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