A record high temperature was set in Fresno on Wednesday, but Valley residents can now prepare for a rain storm expected Friday night.
The National Weather Service recorded a high of 77 degrees at 4 p.m. at Fresno Yosemite International Airport. That broke the previous record for the date of 74 degrees, which was set in 2009.
Another dry, sunny day is expected Thursday, though spots in the Valley could dawn with patchy fog. The high in Fresno Thursday is expected to be near 67.
Skies start to cloud up Thursday evening as a storm approaches from the west. Rain becomes likely on Friday, and turns heavy that evening. The chance of showers remains in the forecast through Saturday.
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A second storm is then forecast to arrive on Sunday night and linger into Monday.
Over an inch of rain could develop from the two storms in parts of the Valley, the weather service said. Because the moisture is flowing from the subtropics to California, the storm system is warm, and snow levels will be over 8,000 feet.
Another aspect to the stormy weather will be gusty winds on the west side of the Valley, along the crest of the Sierra, and over the Grapevine between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. The weather service said gusts may exceed 40 mph along the Valley’s west side and 60 mph in the mountains.
Any rain will be welcomed. Fresno in January recorded just .21 of an inch of rain. Normally, 2.19 inches would fall. For the rain season, which is July 1-June 30, Fresno has received 3.59 inches of rain — 61% of normal, according to the NWS.