Rain showers arrived Thursday in the central San Joaquin Valley, along with snow in Sierra's higher elevations. However, the precipitation is "barely going to make a dent in the drought," said a local meteorologist.
Up to a foot of snow could fall by Thursday afternoon, mostly above 7,000 feet elevation, along the Sierra extending from Yosemite National Park south to Kings Canyon National Park, said Carlos Molina of the National Service in Hanford.
Between Thursday night and Friday morning, an additional three to four inches of snow may fall as low as 5,000 feet, Molina said.
The Fresno area may get between a tenth and a quarter inch of rain Thursday, Molina said, with showers extending from Sacramento to Fresno. Winds also are expected, with the strongest likely Thursday morning.
Dry conditions are expected to return this weekend, with a high of 59 degrees expected in Fresno on Saturday.
More rain will likely come in 10 to 14 days, but still not enough to make a difference in the statewide drought, which is comparable to the drought of 1976-77, Molina said.
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