After two days of record Fresno heat, the National Weather Service in Hanford said that two separate storm systems are expected to bring more than an inch of rain to the drought-stricken central San Joaquin Valley.
Meteorologist Jim Bagnall said the first wave of rain will begin soaking the Valley on Friday afternoon and will stick around until mid-Saturday. The second storm will hit Sunday evening and last through Monday. Bagnall predicted more than an inch of rainfall in Merced County, an inch in Fresno County and half an inch in Tulare County over the weekend.
The long-awaited winter storm comes at a pivotal time for the Valley, Bagnall said, as the Fresno area has only soaked up 0.21 of an inch of rainfall this year. The average rainfall for this time of year is 2.56 inches.
The storm is also expected to cool Fresno back down to the upper 50s, the average temperature for this time of year. Both Wednesday and Thursday saw record temperature highs. Wednesday’s 4 p.m. high of 77 broke the record of 74 set in 2009, while Thursday’s 4 p.m. high of 76 broke the record of 75 set in 1930.
By Monday evening, the rain should be gone and temperatures should warm back up into the 60s, Bagnall said.