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‘Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring’ with storm moving through Valley

A rainbow seen near foothills east of Clovis on Tuesday afternoon, April 2, 2019.
A rainbow seen near foothills east of Clovis on Tuesday afternoon, April 2, 2019. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Thunderstorms moved into the central San Joaquin Valley on Tuesday, bringing “torrential rainfall” and small hail, and causing some power outages.

The National Weather Service at Hanford reported a chance of continued showers and thunderstorms after 5 p.m. following a brief “significant weather advisory” until 4:30 p.m. in central Fresno and south-central Madera counties.

“Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring with this storm,” the advisory warned. “Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Company reported more than 2,900 customers without power in Fresno around 4:30 p.m. due to the wind, rain and lightning – the majority in north Fresno.

The National Weather Service previously reported the possibility of funnel clouds in the area.

An urban and small stream flood advisory was in effect throughout the region, including possible flooding in Fresno, Clovis and Sanger.

Shortly before 4 p.m., some of the most significant thunderstorm activity was around Madera Ranchos, with the storm moving east at approximately 20 mph.

Before 8 p.m., the chance of showers and thunderstorms in the Fresno area drops to 50 percent.

“Dime-size hail and winds in excess of 30 mph will be possible with this storm.”

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