UPDATE (10:45 a.m.): The portion of Highway 120 that was closed for snow was reopened. Glacier Point Road remained closed.
ORIGINAL STORY: In what meteorologists called a fine September storm, a downpour of rain was welcomed in Oakhurst and the Mountain Area Thursday morning as a portion of Highway 120 in Yosemite National Park was put under temporary closure due to snowy roadways.
And, perhaps in the perfect sign of the end of summer, the storm comes a day before the Autumnal Equinox on Friday, typically signifying the start of fall.
David Spector, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Hanford, said a 20% chance of showers remained through Thursday afternoon in Oakhurst, with a 30% in the higher sierras. A 20% chance of rain remained in the high sierras only on Friday, he said.
Oakhurst received from 0.62 to 0.75 inches of rain in locations such as the Madera County Sheriff’s Substation or Miami Highlands, Spector said, followed by 1.13 inches in Bass Lake, 0.20 in Fish Camp, and 0.62 in Coarsegold.
“This was a pretty healthy storm for September,” Spector said. “But through the weekend, well through next week, we’re going to be dry.”
Spector said the high sierras, from around 7,000 to 11,000 feet elevation, received between 1 to 3 inches of snow.
Temperatures in Oakhurst and surrounding locations are forecast to reach a high of around 61 degrees Thursday before jumping up to the mid 60s on Friday, and low to mid and high 70s through the weekend. Temperatures were expected to rise further next week into the mid to high 80s.
In Yosemite National Park, a part of Highway 120 was placed under temporary full closure early Thursday, officials said, from Crane Flat to five miles west of the junction of Tioga Pass, as snow was on the road. A closure was also put in place for Glacier Point Road. Hetch Hetchy Road, near Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
For updating road conditions in Yosemite National Park, dial (209) 372-0200, then press 1, and 1 again.