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Remote possibility that rain, cold temperatures may bring snow to the area

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Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:10 am, Fri Feb 25, 2011.

Enjoying the mild temperatures? You won't be for long. Temperatures are supposed to drop significantly today, with nighttime lows reaching the lowto mid-30s, according to Ken Clark, the West Coast weather expert for AccuWeather.com.

Rain showers should be present throughout the morning as well, tapering off in the afternoon before ramping up again tonight, Clark said.

The mixture of strong rain showers and cold temperatures may be enough to bring some light snow to Lodi, Clark said, although it's only a remote possibility.

"It would have to come in a heavy shower that occurs (tonight) into part of Saturday; if it rains hard enough in the shower, the snow could make it down to the surface in the Valley," Clark said. "It's not out of the realm of possibility that there could be wet snowflakes."

The surrounding areas will see significant snow activity, though, and not only at high elevations.

"The snow level's going to drop down to probably 1,000 feet, maybe as low as 500 feet above sea level," Clark said. "It's rare to get this kind of cold storm; it doesn't happen but every decade or two."

There hasn't been a serious snow storm in Lodi for more than 40 years — the last time there was enough snow to build a snowman was 1968. There have been occasions in which there have been traces of snow since then, but nothing you could ride a snowboard on.

Saturday will bring even colder temperatures throughout the Central Valley that will approach record lows.

"There will be some fairly widespread freezing temperatures across the area," Clark said. "We could be looking at record cold across much of Central California."

The coldest temperature on record for Feb. 27 in Stockton is 27 degrees in 1962, Clark said, and Saturday's lows should approach that number.

The rain is expected to clear out Saturday night.

The colder-than-average temperatures should last for at least a week, Clark said, and temperatures in the 60s won't be seen again until at least Thursday.

Contact reporter Fernando Gallo at fernando@lodinews.com.

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