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Clear weather until Saturday, NWS says

The Mountain Area is forecast to get a brief break from ongoing storms already responsible for an above average rainy season before they return this weekend.

Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Hanford, said storms were expected to return sometime Saturday afternoon.

He said throughout the winter, a series of “atmospheric rivers” - narrow bands of storms that originate in the tropics and bring warmer, rainier weather - have impacted much of California, including the mountains.

“Atmospheric rivers aren’t uncommon in a year, but the number we’ve had this season has been rather abnormal,” Rowe said. “Typically you get a few per season, but I’ve lost track of how many we’ve had this year.”

Last weekend continued the trend of a rainy year.

At the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork, from Friday, Feb. 17 into Monday, Feb. 20, the station received 4.31 inches of rain, bringing its season total to 48.33 inches. Through records kept since 1903, the station sees a little more than 32 inches of rain in an average year (July 1 - June 30).

In Oakhurst, the National Weather Service in Hanford reported 2.9 inches of rain on Friday, followed by 2.1 inches from Saturday into Monday.

The Mountain Area was forecast to get a brief break from the storms as they wrapped up on Tuesday, Rowe said, before returning Saturday afternoon.

For updated forecasts, visit www.sierrastar.com/weather.

Staff report

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