Flooding in southeast Fresno after heavy rains
A “dangerous” weekend thunderstorm that flooded city streets, dumped snow in the foothills and triggered tornado fears in the Valley should give way to clearer skies and warmer temperatures.
After the clouds clear out Monday night, temperatures the area will gradually increase, according to the weather service, topping out at nearly 90 in both Merced and Fresno by next Saturday.
It will be a welcome break.
This has been the second wettest May on record in the Fresno area, according to the National Weather Service. As of Sunday, Fresno had seen 2.37 inches of rain for the month. The record was set in 1906 with 2.88 inches of rain.
As Sunday’s storm system passed through, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning.
At 2:53, p.m., a storm capable of producing a tornado was tracked near Poplar-Cotton Center, about 11 miles southwest of Porterville. It was moving east at 20 mph, the weather service said, and will reach Terra Bella at 3:20 p.m. Penny-sized hail was possible.
In Yosemite, rare May snow falling on Sunday temporarily closed Highway 41 into the park, officials announced.
Highway 120 between Big Oak Flat Entrance and Foresta, and Hetch Hetchy Road were also closed overnight. The only access into and out of Yosemite National Park is from Highway 140 (El Portal Road).
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until Monday morning for the southern Sierra Nevada above 6,000 feet. The National Weather Service in Hanford expects between three and six inches of snow to accumulate above 6,000 feet, with nine inches possible at the highest elevations.
In the Valley, rainstorms dropped temperatures into the 60s, coming close to breaking the record low temperature of 66 set in 1946.
A flood advisory was put into effect for Hanford, Lemoore and Laton around 2 p.m., as rainfall rates reached almost an inch an hour, the weather service said in a Facebook post.
Up to a quarter of an inch of rain was expected in the Fresno area on Sunday, with higher amounts possible with thunderstorms. A 30-percent chance of rain and thunderstorms is forecast for Memorial Day, with a high of 69 degrees.
About .05 inches of rain fell in Merced on Sunday, and only .10 inches more are expected, with the exception of thunderstorms, the weather service said. A high of 70 degrees is expected for Memorial Day, with a 20-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
The wet weather also dampened Fresno baseball, postponing the Grizzlies game Sunday afternoon. It marked the second rainout in three days for the Grizzlies, breaking a record, according to the team.
To make it up, the Grizzlies will play a doubleheader on Monday. Sunday’s tickets are valid that day or can be exchanged for a future game.