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Two wet weeks don't change forecasts of near-normal rainfall this winter

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Posted: Monday, December 3, 2001 10:00 pm

The dousing the Lodi area received over the past two weeks hasn't changed forecasters' long-range predictions for near-normal rainfall for the year.

"You can't take a week or even two weeks and change your long-term forecast," said Ken Clark, a meteorologist for AccuWeather, a commercial weather service. "The early part of the season doesn't denote what kind of a season it will be."

Lodi has received 5.94 inches of rain since July 1, compared with a normal total for Dec. 3 of 3.56.

The Lodi-Galt area has already begun drying out after being doused with 1.5 inches of rain and blasted by heavy winds over the weekend.

The only chance of rain this week are some sprinkles tonight, said George Cline, a meteorological technician with the National Weather Service.

Night and morning fog could arrive as early as Wednesday. "I'm not calling for widespread dense fog, just nuisance fog," Cline said.

The atmosphere was too unstable to produce fog and instead brought the area a day of bright sunshine Monday, Cline and Clark said.

Temperatures near freezing were predicted for this morning in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, but it will be warmer the rest of the week, first from the cloud cover expected tonight and Wednesday, and from the fog predicted from Wednesday and lasting at least through the weekend.

"It will be noticeably milder in the coast and foothills," Clark said.

Meanwhile, Sierra ski operators are smiling - make that grinning from ear to ear - over the thought that mountain roads closed Monday should be open to skiers beginning today.

Kirkwood Ski Resort on Highway 88 reported receiving 100 inches in 100 hours, including 42 inches over a 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Monday.

"It may be Dec. 3, but the snow seems more like Feb. 3," according to a news release from Kirkwood's Web site. "We are opening the lifts as quickly as we can dig them out and will have the entire front side of the mountain open," the report added.

Bear Valley Ski Resort on Highway 4 reported major snowfall as well, picking up 24 inches over a 24-hour period ending Monday morning. The forecast calls for mostly sunny this morning with high clouds in the afternoon. Highs at Bear Valley will be in the mid-20s to low-30s. It should reach 20 degrees at the 8,000-foot elevation today.

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