A flood watch is in effect for the central San Joaquin Valley beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, with a winter storm watch issued for higher-elevation areas and a flash-flood watch for mountain and foothill areas below 8,000 feet, the National Weather Service in Hanford said Wednesday.
The storm system is expected to begin moving in from the coast on Wednesday, bringing gusty winds but mild temperatures. Rainfall is forecast to begin Thursday in Fresno, with the high temperature expected to 60 degrees. The flood watch is expected to end at 4 p.m. Friday, and the area can expect a quarter-inch to an inch of rain, with certain areas nearing 1 1/2 inches, said the weather service. Streams and rivers have a chance of rising due to heavy rainfall.
Gusty winds will develop over Merced with speeds of 45 mph. In the Kern County mountains and desert area, winds could exceed 60 mph, the weather service said.
Rain and snow is expected Thursday morning above 8,000 feet for the Sierra from Yosemite to Tulare and Kern counties. Two to 4 feet of snow is possible in the higher elevations. The same amount of rain can be expected in mountain and foothill areas below 8,000 feet, with isolated areas reaching 6 inches.
The storm will eventually spread south into Kern County, but the Tehachapi Mountains will only see a quarter to 1 inch of rain, the weather service said.
Rain and snow is expected to clear out by Friday night, leaving the Valley with overnight temperatures in the low to mid-30s throughout the weekend and into Monday.
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Sand available to residents
For anyone needing to fill sandbags, sand is available at the following Fresno County road yards:
Biola, Area 4 Road Yard, 12855 W. G St.
Fresno-Clovis, Area 7 Road Yard, 9400 N. Matus Ave., Fresno
Sanger, Area 8 Road Yard, 9525 E. Olive Ave.
Tranquillity, Area 2 Road Yard, Denver and Lincoln avenues
In addition, the city of Clovis has sand available at its corporate yard, 155 N. Sunnyside Ave.