The first big storm of the season dropped nearly an inch of rain and some hail in Fresno, flooded a stretch of Highway 99 that backed up traffic for eight miles and interrupted power for more than 30,000 PG&E customers Tuesday and Wednesday.
The rain also had raisin growers worried about potential crop damage. "If anyone had raisins on an open paper tray they may have a difficult time drying them out," said Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Carol Hafner.
Showers are expected to linger Thursday before skies clear.
Fresno recorded 0.90 of an inch of rain from late Tuesday night to Wednesday, with the heaviest downpour from 4 to 7 a.m., said Jim Dudley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
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"We essentially had a month's worth of rain in one day," Dudley said, referring to Fresno's average rainfall for October of 0.93 of an inch.
Pea-sized hail was reported in southwest Fresno about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the storm dropped .98 of an inch in Clovis, .58 of an inch in Visalia, . 45 in Hanford and Madera, .39 in Porterville and . 34 at Lemoore Naval Air Station.
In the mountain areas, 3.85 inches fell in Lodgepole, 2.18 in Shaver Lake, 1.79 in Yosemite Valley and 1.33 in Three Rivers, also as of 5 p.m.
In the Sierra, snow fell as low as 7,000 feet, Dudley said. At least a foot of snow was reported at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.
The storm's effects were widespread. In Fresno, flooding caused by construction closed one lane on southbound Highway 99 from Herndon Avenue to Shaw Avenue and backed up traffic to Avenue 12 in Madera County for about seven hours Wednesday morning, the California Highway Patrol said.
Raisin growers weren't the only farmers holding their breath during the storm. Hafner said pomegranates can crack or split if they get too much water, and cotton could also experience some staining.
"What growers need right now is for some nice sunny weather and a breeze to help dry things out," Hafner said.
Thursday's forecast calls for scattered showers around the Valley before sunny skies return Friday, Dudley said. A high of 65 is expected for Fresno, 71 on Friday, 79 on Saturday and 82 on Sunday.
Normal highs this time of year are in the mid-80s.
Overnight lows will be in the low 40s to mid-50s through the weekend.