Central California is in for a week of potentially very wet storms from an “atmospheric river” that could trigger flash flooding in the Sierra foothills and bring snow to the mountains.
The National Weather Service in Hanford issued a flash flood watch in the foothills and a winter storm warning in the Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to the Tulare County mountains from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Thursday.
Snow levels will start around 4,500-foot elevation on Tuesday, rising to about 7,000 feet Wednesday and Thursday.
The first storm could drop 1 to 4 inches of rain in the eastern half of the San Joaquin Valley and into the foothills, with local amounts of up to 6 inches in some areas, the weather service warned. The west side of the Valley will likely see less rain.
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A second, very wet Pacific storm could bring significant rain to the region starting Friday night and into the weekend. That storm could bring additional threats of flooding, the weather service said.
Daytime highs in Fresno are expected to remain in the mid- to upper-50s through most of the week, with overnight lows in the upper 40s through Wednesday night, then dropping to the low 40s later in the week.
In the Sierra Nevada, places like Shaver Lake and Grant Grove Village can expect daytime highs ranging from the upper 30s to low 50s, with overnight lows in the low 30s.