Spring storm drenches Valley, heat spike on the way (video)

The Fresno BeeApril 25, 2014 

Rain and even hail pounded the Valley floor Friday, but meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Hanford said dry weather will return, with temperatures climbing into the 90s by the middle of next week.

North Hanford, north Fresno and north Tulare County all were hit by pea-sized hail Friday, meteorologist Cindy Bean said.

Fresno received nearly .3 of an inch of rain before 8 p.m., raising the total to 4.44 inches for the rainy season that runs from July 1 to June 30. Rain continued to steadily fall throughout Friday night. This year's rainfall is still nearly 6.5 inches below the normal average of 10.73 inches, Bean said.

Other parts of the Valley didn't receive the same kind of drenching. Rainfall totals at the Visalia airport were .07 of an inch, and the Hanford airport got even less -- .06 of an inch -- Bean reported.

The effects of the rain were apparent throughout the Valley. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reported more than 1,100 power outages in the Fresno area Friday, mostly near Reedley.

The storm also affected traffic conditions, said Fresno Police Lt. Joe Gomez.

"The roads are extremely slick when it begins to rain after a dry period, and people don't account for this, which results in many accidents with initial rain," he said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Sierra Nevada through 5 a.m. Saturday, with an additional 4 to 9 inches of snow expected.

Other parts of the state also received a drenching Friday. Forecasters were warning of rain showers and snow by Friday evening in parts of Southern California. San Francisco is expected to receive about a tenth of an inch of rain by the end of the weekend.

Saturday's high is expected to be 67, not much warmer than Friday. But Sunday will kick off a steady increase in temperatures, with a high of 72, followed by a high of 78 Monday. Tuesday will see the largest spike in temperatures, Bean said, with a high of 88. By Wednesday, the high is expected to hit 90.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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