Autumn falls on Valley, Sierra with gusty winds

Staff and wire reportsOctober 28, 2013 

— It’s time to break out the sweat shirts and put away the tank tops.

After a prolonged spell of temperatures in the 70s and 80s throughout the Valley this fall, conditions suddenly changed Monday as a storm system moved through the region.

The arrival of the cold front brought highs in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-40s Monday. The colder conditions were expected to linger until Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Halloween is expected to see a return to highs in the 70s, with readings back into the 40s at night.

While it’s likely to be brisk for kids and parents on their trick-or-treating rounds Thursday night, there’s no rain in the Halloween forecast.

There was a chance of rain in the Valley and snow at higher elevations Monday when the storm system moved through, but aside from the brief showers, not much precipitation was reported from Modesto to Merced.

It was a different story in the mountains. The weather service issued a winter weather advisory in effect from Sunday night until Monday night, with snow and strong winds forecast for the southern Sierra.

A foot of snow fell in the upper elevations overnight and a 103-mph wind gust blew across the mountains near Lake Tahoe.

The weather service reported 4 to 7 inches of snow fell late Monday on Tahoe’s western shore, with 13 inches above 6,300 feet near Donner Pass on Interstate 80. Kirkwood ski resort reported 14 inches on its mountain and Squaw Valley 10 inches between Tahoe City and Truckee.

The 103-mph gust was near the Mount Rose ski resort between Tahoe and Reno.

There was plenty of wind in the Valley, too. The California Highway Patrol said two drivers suffered minor to moderate injuries after truck accidents along I-580 in San Joaquin County, a typically gusty stretch of freeway.

A series of crashes caused by the windy conditions along I-580 near Tracy began about 6 p.m. Sunday and continued until about 5 a.m. Monday, the CHP reported.

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