The Mountain Area and Valley are expected to receive significant amounts of precipitation this week from a series of storms not seen in Central California since 2010, meteorologists said.
Forecast to begin Monday afternoon and proceed throughout the week, the storms could also bring snow as low as 3,000 feet elevation, said David Spector, with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
“We’ve seen storm systems like these happen a lot in the past, but in the last few years we’ve been in a serious drought so we haven’t seen anything like it,” Spector said of the prolonged cloudy forecast. “It’s a sign of some good weather after so many dry years.”
Spector said light rain is projected throughout Monday, with 1 to 2 inches Tuesday in Oakhurst and surrounding Mountain Area communities.
On Wednesday, some four to six-tenths of an inch of rain is expected, Spector said, and as temperatures drop below 40 degrees in the evening, snow may form lower than 3,000 feet into Thursday.
Spector said through the weekend, there’s anywhere from a 20 to 50 percent chance of light showers as temperatures rise into the 50s.
A Winter Storm Warning has also been issued above 6,000 feet, Spector said, valid from 10 p.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Tuesday. As as much as 16 inches of snow is forecast at those higher elevations.
In the Valley, 1 to 1.5 inches of rain is expected in Fresno and the surrounding areas at the end of the week.
Most of the Mountain Area and Valley is above seasonal averages for precipitation in non-drought years, Spector said.