Following more than an inch of rain across much of the Mountain Area from a storm that wrapped up Friday, a second, smaller tempest is forecast for Sunday afternoon.
According to the National Weather Service in Hanford, from the first storm that began Thursday, Oakhurst received 1.05 inches of rain at the Madera County Sheriff’s Station, North Fork saw 1.33, the Bass Lake Marina 1.32, Coarsegold 1.02, and Yosemite Lakes Park 0.83.
NWS meteorologist Jim Dudley said the office had yet to acquire snowfall reports from Yosemite National Park, but it likely received more than the six to eight inches reported in Fish Camp, which also got 2.25 inches of rain.
Dudley said a winter storm watch will be issued from noon Sunday to noon Monday for Yosemite and the Mountain Area, with as much as 20 inches of snow predicted in Yosemite as well as 0.83 inches of rain in Oakhurt.
He added based on seasonal numbers in a non-drought year, Central California is about 10% above normal.
“I don’t think we’ve fully transitioned into an El Niño pattern just yet,” Dudley said. “The atmosphere hasn’t caught up in temperature with the warming ocean.”
Dudley said after studying the six El Niño incidents in California stretching back to 1950, most storms in wetter years move into the Valley and Mountain Area from the south.
He said most rainfall this year has instead dropped in from the North Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Alaksa, but added residents shouldn’t count out some strong winter weather in coming months.
“February is the most common month to have above normal precipitation,” Dudley said. “Earlier on, like this year, it’s kind of flaky. So we may get there soon.”