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Weather Service: Half a million people in Fresno area to see ‘severe weather’ activity

Sudden storm moves in on Fresno

The National Weather Service in Hanford issued a severe weather advisory for the Fresno area, with heavy rain and strong winds -- possibly a funnel cloud. Strong storm cells are popping up in different portions of the Valley.
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The National Weather Service in Hanford issued a severe weather advisory for the Fresno area, with heavy rain and strong winds -- possibly a funnel cloud. Strong storm cells are popping up in different portions of the Valley.

Rain pummeled downtown Fresno on Wednesday afternoon just as the National Weather Service station in Hanford issued a severe weather advisory minutes before.

The weather service said half a million people in the Fresno area will see severe storm activity that will bring heavy rain, strong winds and quarter-sized hail. This storm could produce a funnel cloud, the weather service said.

Colin McKellar, Hanford NWS meteorologist, said the strong cell was expected to produce up to half an inch of rain as it moved through the area. He said these types of strong, fast moving storm cells are “popping up” all over portions of the central and southern San Joaquin Valley.

“So I wouldn’t say you’re completely done with the rainfall,” McKellar said.

An EF0 tornado was confirmed Saturday by the weather service after a funnel cloud was caught on video over Mendota when a strong storm also reached the Valley.

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Wednesday’s storm is part of another series that is expected throughout the afternoon and night. McKellar said the Valley could see rain until about 7 p.m. Wednesday. The storm systems are moving northeast toward Auberry and Shaver Lake. McKellar said the weather station has gotten reports of lightening.

The weather service said winds were expected to reach up to 60 mph during the severe storm alert the station issued from 2 to 3 p.m.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.

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