'Rainmaker' could give Valley a drenching, and snow in Sierra

The Fresno BeeMarch 30, 2014 

Don't put your umbrellas away just yet -- rain and snow are forecast over the next couple of days in the Valley.

MARK CROSSE/THE FRESNO BEE — Fresno Bee Staff Photo Buy Photo

Don't stow those umbrellas just yet.

A second, more powerful Pacific storm -- a potential rainmaker -- is expected to arrive in the central San Joaquin Valley later Monday.

Fresno got a quarter-of-an-inch of rain from Saturday night's storm, and should get a half-inch starting Monday afternoon between 4 and 5 p.m., the National Weather Service says.

The latest storm will continue through possibly Wednesday morning, said Gary Sanger, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Hanford.

This storm will be colder and will bring more snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Sanger said the mountains at 5,000 feet and higher could get from 14 to 18 inches of snow and up to 2 feet in some spots. He also said there is a possibility of snow in the upper foothills reaching down to 3,000 feet.

Monday could start with patchy morning fog in some areas of the Valley, the weather service said.

On Tuesday, there is a chance of a thunderstorm with a possibility of small hail, gusty winds, small stream and urban flooding, the weather service said.

Accompanying the stormy weather, daytime Fresno temperatures through Wednesday are expected to be in the mid to low 60s -- chillier than the seasonal average of 70 for this time of year.

Sanger said more rain is possible by Thursday, but daytime highs in Fresno are expected to reach 71 degrees with partly sunny skies by Friday.

The latest storm, while a potential rainmaker, is not expected to put much of a dent in the region's rainfall shortage, he said.

Sanger said the weekend storm dropped only .25 inches of rain in Fresno, bringing the total rainfall for the month of March to .44 inches. The month normally records about 2 inches of rain.

Since last July, only 3.85 inches of rain has fallen in Fresno, a little more than a third of the seasonal average of 9.86 inches for this time of year.

Staff writer Barbara Anderson contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or asasaki@fresnobee.com.

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