A day after record-breaking rainfall, the central San Joaquin Valley began drying out Friday.
Mountain roads reopened, and in good news, Millerton Lake north of Fresno steadily kept filling and water releases out of Friant Dam continued with powerful force into the San Joaquin River.
In Yosemite, the Highway 140 (El Portal Road) entrance to the park was reopened after being closed because of falling rocks. Snow tires and chains are required.
Highway 120 (Big Oak Flat Road) also reopened, but vehicles must have chains or four-wheel drive with snow tires to travel on it as well.
The rain total from Thursday’s storm broke a 108-year-old record, said David Spector, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. The old record set in 1909 was 0.82 inches. Thursday’s total was 0.85 inches.
Total rainfall for Fresno for the season so far is well above normal, Spector said. Since Oct. 1, 8.42 inches of rain has fallen. The average rainfall for the same period is 4.34 inches. The rain season is from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
The capacity of Millerton Lake is 520,500 acre-feet. On Friday, the level stood at 429,947 acre-feet, or about 86 percent of capacity and rising. Outflow releases from Friant Dam were at about 9,500 cubic feet per second Friday in anticipation of continued inflows.
Storms have given way to dense fog in the central San Joaquin Valley. Fog is expected each morning and late night through Tuesday. The CHP advises drivers to turn on low-beam headlights, reduce speed and increase the distance from the vehicle ahead.
Weekend temperatures through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Fresno will be in the low- to mid-50s for highs and mid- to upper 30s for lows.
Spector said the next potential for wet weather is Wednesday evening, when there is a 60 percent chance of rain.