Fall foliage in the central San Joaquin Valley and Sierra is reaching a peak now, with reds, oranges, yellows and golds making deciduous trees a beautiful sight. Those leaves might blow off over the weekend, as the first significant storm of autumn is forecast to arrive Friday and continue through Sunday.
A winter storm watch has been called by the National Weather Service for the Sierra above 7,000 feet. There, six to 12 inches of snow are expected, with 18 inches possible at higher elevations. Travel in the high country will be difficult, with blowing snow and reduced visibility on mountain highways, the NWS said.
On the Valley floor precipitation will fall as rain. There is a 30 percent chance Friday, then 50 percent chance on Saturday. Sunday will scale back to a 30 percent chance. Daytime highs in Fresno will be mid-60s Friday and Saturday and upper 50s on Sunday, well below normal highs in the low 70s at this time of year.