Central California weather will be unsettled this week when a train of three Pacific storms will bring rain and snow – the last likely cold enough to make it a white Christmas in the foothills.
Cindy Bean, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, said Saturday’s storm brought 0.72 inches of rain to Fresno, which brought the total to 1.36 inches for the month. The city’s season total (3.59) is 0.94 inches above normal.
Fresno was able to dry out between storms on Sunday, with the high reaching 51.
Bean said the first two storms will hit from Sunday evening through Tuesday before the third rushes in Christmas Eve. The first two storms will be warm for the season, Bean said, with snow levels expected to hover above 6,500 feet.
The first storm is only expected to bring a few hundredths of an inch of rain to Fresno County northward from Sunday evening through Monday morning. Bean expects 2 to 4 inches of snow to fall in the Sierra from Yosemite National Park to the Fresno/Tulare county line.
Valley locations like Fresno will see Monday’s high reach around 55, while foothill locations like Oakhurst can expect around 52 and Sierra locations like Shaver Lake can expect around 46.
The second storm is expected to arrive Monday night and continue through Tuesday and will be much wetter than the first storm. Fresno is expected to receive about half an inch of rain, while foothill locations can expect around three-quarters of an inch. Bean said that more than a foot of snow is expected with this storm for the Sierra from Yosemite to the Fresno/Tulare county line with lesser amounts southward toward Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Bean said the last storm of the week will arrive Christmas Eve and continue into Christmas Day. Bean said foothill locations like Oakhurst could see a dusting of snow as the snow level will fall through the day on Thursday to 2,000 feet and eventually will lower to 1,500 feet on Friday. The snowfall will depend on when the precipitation arrives as the temperature drops.