A weather system developing north of the Valley is expected to hit the Fresno area by daytime Thursday and stick around until the weekend, the National Weather Service said.
Weather service meteorologist Cindy Bean said light rain is expected to hit the Valley by Wednesday night.
The Sierra Nevada will see a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of rain Thursday and Friday. Fresno area rainfall is expected to increase gradually throughout the day Thursday.
“It will start as showers in the morning and thunder in the afternoon,” Bean said.
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Throughout Thursday, a 20 percent chance of rain is expected for the stretch of Madera to Bakersfield. The Valley rain will remain steady through Friday and begin to die down by Saturday afternoon, Bean said.
Bean said the storm is due to a low pressure system moving south through the Valley from the Central Coast. The storm is expected to produce rain, hail and gusty winds.
Rainfall totals expected from the three-day storm could be about 0.2 to 0.3 inches in some areas, Bean said. About a foot of snow is expected in the Sierra at the 8,000 foot elevation by Saturday.
Chances of rain for Sunday are low. Bean expects a 20 percent chance of showers in the Valley and a 35 percent chance for the Sierra.
“It is a significant storm system,” Bean said. “It’s going to hang around for a while.”