Weather

Tahoe showers, cooler temps unusual for Memorial Day; warmup coming

Memorial Day weekend was bright but cooler than usual around Sacramento, which had dueling music festivals on both sides of the Sacramento River.
Memorial Day weekend was bright but cooler than usual around Sacramento, which had dueling music festivals on both sides of the Sacramento River. rbenton@sacbee.com

Despite thunderstorms in the Sierra and a milder-than-usual Memorial Day in Sacramento, the weather may be warming back up this week.

The recent weather pattern of below-normal temperatures has stuck around for almost three weeks, but expect a return to typical high 80s soon in the Sacramento region, said meteorologist Eric Kurth of the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

“We’ll be back to normal Tuesday with a high of 82,” he said. “It will start to warm up after that. We could see 90 by Friday.”

The weather will cool back into the high 80s next weekend. Throughout the week, Sacramento’s overnight lows will remain in the low 50s.

On Memorial Day, the expected high in Sacramento was 79 degrees. Historically, Sacramento’s high temperature averages 84 for May 25.

“We did have some marine stratus clouds (in the morning), and a little Delta breeze cooled things down,” said Kurth of the National Weather Service.

While Sacramento remained sunny, Sierra communities saw some much-needed rain as thunderstorms sprang up along the crest both Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, storms dotted the Truckee-Tahoe area, dropping from one-tenth to a quarter of an inch in most places. Truckee Airport reported 0.20 inches; Plumas saw 0.36 inches of rain. The wettest spot was Stampede Dam, 10 miles northeast of Truckee, with 0.43. Meanwhile, South Lake Tahoe received 0.09 inches of precipitation.

“It’s good to see the mountains getting some rain,” Kurth said. “Whatever we get up there is helpful, especially with fire danger.”

Additional thunderstorms and cloudbursts in the Tahoe-Truckee area popped up in the late morning on Memorial Day. Donner Lake saw 0.15 inches Monday as the storm headed east.

“The rain has been right along the crest and actually over on the Nevada side,” said NWS meteorologist Craig Shoemaker. “It will keep moving over the crest onto the other side (of the Sierra).”

Another round of unseasonably mild weather could return before the heat of summer hits. A similar weather system is expected to come through Northern California on June 1 and 2.

“In early June, we should see similar mountain showers in the Sierra,” Kurth said. “Again, the rain is not for Sacramento. It will stay dry in the valley. There’s just not enough moisture and stability to bring rain (to the lower elevations), but there is for the Sierra. They should get some more rain.”

Debbie Arrington: (916) 321-1075, @debarrington

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