MODESTO — It wont rain or snow on our parade today, or on the many people who are sure to turn out for the opening of local cities Christmas Tree Lanes and other holiday lighting attractions. That was the forecast from a National Weather Service meteorologist on Friday afternoon. The early hours of today held a chance of rain or snow, but meteorologist Stefanie Henry said the Modesto area is right at that rain-snow mix line. You should mostly get a rain-snow mix or just rain.
Apparently, the last time it snowed in these parts was Dec. 7, 2009. Trace amounts fell throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley, but just how much, and where, varied widely. People in Modesto reported it was coming down in big flakes and enough to make snowballs from what landed on a family car.
Whatever falls today, though, it looks like pretty much all the showers will be over with by morning, Henry said Friday. The high in Modesto will be in the mid-40s, she said, but dropping quickly into the 30s and 20s as the sun sets and night falls. That means folks lining the streets for this evenings Celebration of Lights parade should be dry but cold. Fortunately, there shouldnt be much of a wind chill: Henry said the days breezes should have calmed down come parade time.
The downtown Modesto parade begins at 5:30 p.m. at 14th and I streets, follows I Street to 10th, continues on 10th to J Street and returns to 15th via J Street. It begins a couple of hours after another popular downtown event ends: the Dickens Faire and Victorian Christmas Market. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 15th Street between I and J, in front of the McHenry Mansion.
Tonight also marks the grand opening of celebrations at Turlocks Oxford Court, with its Santa Express elevated train, and Christmas Tree Lanes in Ceres and Turlock.