Fog settles in Valley for the night, morning

December 16, 2009 

Fog started forming in low Fresno areas Wednesday night and will linger into the morning Thursday.

Just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, visibility in Visalia was already down to less than a quarter of a mile, according to the National Weather Service.

Just like Tuesday night, groups of cirrus clouds will keep some areas from getting fog, but a considerable amount of fog is forecast across much of the Valley, meteorologist Jim Dudley said.

Thursday, hazy afternoon sunshine is predicted in Fresno with a high of 61 and calm winds.

Wednesday morning, patchy fog slowed morning commutes in some parts of the Valley. Several schools, including those in the Caruthers, Alvina and Monroe school districts, were placed on foggy day schedules.

The fog settled along and just west of Highway 99 from Merced to Fresno and blanketed the highway into Kern County, Dudley said.

About 7 a.m., visibility was less than 200 feet on Highway 198 near Hanford, according to the California Highway Patrol. From Tulare to Kingsburg, it was less than 500 feet, and it ranged from 400 to 900 feet from the Kings River to Selma.

A little after 8 a.m., CHP paced traffic from the Merced-Madera county line to Turner Island.

CHP reported two major accidents Wednesday morning. Just before 7 a.m. on northbound Highway 99 near Avenue 368, a pickup collided with a big rig. About 8:30, another collision blocked Highway 180 at Madera Avenue near Kerman.

“The fog went right down the center of the Valley,” Dudley said. “The west side of Fresno had a lot while Clovis did not.”

Highs across the Valley were mostly in the upper 50s to mid 60s with Bakersfield reaching the highest at 66. Wednesday morning’s lows were in the high 30s throughout the Valley.

The reporter can be reached at csmith@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6368.

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