Another storm on Monday brought more rain and snow to Central California in what has been a wet January, and the National Weather Service in Hanford expects at least two more storms this week.
One place experiencing the difference has been the China Peak ski resort in the Sierra northeast of Fresno. Tim Cohee, owner of the recreation business, said the holiday weekend drew around 9,000 visitors.
“This is the best season since I bought the resort in 2010,” he said. “We had 8 inches of new snow this morning, and the current snowpack will last until the spring.”
More snow is expected in the Sierra on Tuesday, but Gabrielle Kant of the Lakeshore Resort at Huntington Lake, farther up Highway 168 from China Peak, said that locals aren’t taking advantage of the winter conditions at her business.
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She noted on Monday that there was 6 feet of snow and “the best snowmobiling in two years” thanks to a succession of storms that have rolled through this month.
“It’s MLK weekend,” she said. “In the past, we would have been booked up weeks in advance. We’ve had some cabin owners, which is great, but not many visitors.”
That despite a good forecast calling for more snow. The National Weather Service expected the Sierra to collect up to 5 inches of new snow Monday down to 6,500 feet. The forecast called for a slight chance of snow showers Monday night, with snow more likely after midnight.
Kant believes people are waiting until the last minute to book – or not making the 90-minute drive from Fresno at all – because they are “gun-shy about the snowy conditions.”
The weather service reported that Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park received 6 inches of snow, bringing the snowpack total up to four feet as of Monday afternoon.
This is the best season since I bought the resort in 2010.
Tim Cohee, owner, China Peak ski resort
In the Valley, steady rains fell during the early morning.
The California Highway Patrol reported several crashes on rain-slickened roads as the morning commute began on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Officials from Fresno County and Caltrans worked between 10 and 11 a.m. to clear flooding on National Avenue near Minnewawa Avenue in Clovis and Highway 168 near Academy Avenue.
The forecast calls for a good chance of rain Tuesday morning. The next storm is expected to bring about a quarter-inch of rain to the central San Joaquin Valley by the early afternoon. Snow is expected at elevations above 6,000 feet.
Fresno’s high temperature Tuesday is expected to be in the high 50s or low 60s, followed by an overnight low in the mid-40s.
Although Wednesday and Thursday are forecast to be dry, another storm system should hit the area Friday.
24-hour rain totals as of 4 p.m. Monday
National Weather Service