National Weather Service forecaster Johnnie Powell had some weekend advice for those in the Sacramento region.
“For the rest of Saturday and Sunday, get out and enjoy it,” Powell said. “It’s as good as it gets this time of year. It’s perfect for the skiers, man. They should be in hog heaven.”
Powell said that while it may be a touch brisk in the mornings – down to near freezing in the Sacramento Valley – the rest of the shortened days should warm to near 50, perfect weather for a bike ride, a walk in the park or playing outside with new Christmas toys.
The skiing, he said, also should be incredible in the sunny Sierra, where 2 feet of fresh snow fell in time to make a white Christmas. Temperatures, though, were expected to become frigid in the Sierra, particularly at night.
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The Sierra snow was part of a storm system that brought tornadoes to the Sacramento area.
On Christmas Eve, small tornadoes touched down near Folsom and Modesto. Powell said the funnel clouds, though they made for some striking photos, caused little damage. He said they’ll likely be classified as either F0 or F1, at the lowest end of the federal government’s tornado ranking system that goes as high as F5.
He said a cold front coming through and hitting air warmed by the sun formed the funnel clouds Christmas Eve.
“They clash into each other,” Powell said. “It’s always the cold air aloft, and what does cold air want to do? It wants to sink. What does warm air want to do? It wants to rise, so you get that twirling effect.”
Meanwhile, the pleasant skies in the forecast Saturday and Sunday might not last.
Powell said there’s a slight chance of rain Sunday night and Monday morning in Sacramento. The skies through Thursday, New Year’s Eve, are likely to be mostly or partly sunny, with high temperatures in the low to mid-50s. The low temperatures in Sacramento will likely hover a few degrees above freezing.
Skiers and snowboarders might want to bundle up this weekend. The National Weather Service says Saturday night could get as cold as minus-8 degrees in the Truckee area.