For the second time in less than a week the sea level denizens of Del Norte County, and elsewhere on the North Coast, contended with cold white fluffy stuff falling from the sky.
The National Weather Service received reports of 1.75 inches of snow blanketing the area between Crescent City and Fort Dick, about 50 feet above sea level, at 5 a.m. Sunday, meteorologist William Iwasko said Monday. Weather forecasters received reports of 3 inches of snow near Fort Dick, another 1.5 inches between Crescent City and Fort Dick and one of 4 inches of snow in Gasquet, Iwasko said.
He said the snow in Gasquet came along with a report of numerous downed trees that closed U.S. 199 “for a good portion of the day.”
“That was by far the biggest amount that we saw,” Iwasko said. “That would have ended Sunday morning. That was the storm total for Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
Other low-lying areas in Del Norte County that saw snow include Smith River.
Driven by a cold system with rain showers that lowered temperatures further, snow levels were “to the sea,” Iwasko said.
“Even here at Woodley Island,” he said. “We sit at about 20 feet above sea level and we got half an inch.”
Woodley Island last saw snow in 2003 and that was a tenth of an inch, Iwasko said. The last time the area near Eureka saw more than half an inch of snow was in 1999, he said.
More precipitation is expected to fall today through Wednesday, though in areas below 3,000 feet it’ll likely be of the liquid variety, said NWS hydrologist Kathleen Zontos. The system is expected to bring about 2 inches of rain near Crescent City and 3-4 inches in the mountains along with 50-60 mph winds on the highest ridge tops, she said.
Zontos said weather forecasters anticipate rapid rises on the Smith and Klamath rivers, but flooding is not expected to occur. There may also be ponding water and some small streams may approach their banks, but no significant small stream flooding is expected, she said.
“It looks like on Thursday there’ll be some showers,” Zontos said. “It’ll be a little colder, but it doesn’t look like there’ll be terribly low snow levels. Then next weekend, there’s additional chances for rain. It’ll be a little colder again, but it’s looking like right now snow levels will be at 2,000-2,500 feet over the weekend.”
The National Weather Service is also predicting a large swell approaching the area bringing large surf Friday afternoon and evening through Saturday, Zontos said.
“It’s a great reminder for people to stay off the jetty and breakwater, there’ll be large surf crashing over that,” she said. “One final thing to add for the upcoming week, if there’s rain, snow or hail, if there’s any kind of precipitation that makes the road really slick, drive a little bit slower, plan a little extra time, especially if the weather’s poor.”
For more information about the weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eka.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at firstname.lastname@example.org .