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Rain to finally arrive

According to the National Weather Service in Hanford, the first significant storm in some time will impact much of California beginning tonight and continuing into Monday in two waves, bringing moderate to heavy rain, high elevation snow, and strong winds. The first wave will move into California today, lingering into Saturday. The second wave will move through Sunday and continue into Monday. Certainty on the overall development of the storm is high.

Moderate to heavy rain will fall from Fresno County north. Rainfall intensity may be high enough to cause debris flows on the Rim Fire burn scar. Standing water will be likely on area roads leading to some travel impacts. Strong thunderstorms are expected Sunday afternoon and evening with small hail and gusty winds possible.

Strong southwest winds will develop on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley & at the base of the Grapevine today as the first stronger wave moves onshore. Gusts above 40 mph are possible, making for difficult travel conditions (especially high profile vehicles). Strong winds of 60+ mph will also blow across the Sierra crest.

Snow levels will remain at or above 8000’ through the entire event. Above 8000’, one to two feet of snow is expected through the weekend. After several weeks of warm and dry weather and little snow pack, outdoor recreation has been greater than usual in the Sierra. Outdoor enthusiasts should be aware and prepared for a drastic change in weather conditions beginning today and continuing through Monday.

The work week begins with a 50% chance of showers, before the sun returns on Tuesday.

Staff report

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