Traffic collisions spike as rain hits northern part of Valley

Light showers hit Merced, Madera and Fresno counties Wednesday, causing slick roads that contributed to a rash of traffic accidents throughout the central San Joaquin Valley.

The National Weather Service in Hanford issued a warning on social media early Wednesday to watch out for wet, slippery roads. By 8 a.m., the California Highway Patrol was dealing with about a dozen accidents throughout the Valley – ranging from simple fender benders to a fatal crash in Hanford. Highway 99 in Fresno was the scene of three separate accidents before 8 a.m.

Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., Fresno police were called out to at least a dozen accidents throughout the city.

The storm dropped 0.06 of an inch of rain in Fresno, 0.09 of an inch in Madera (a record for the date), 0.18 of an inch in Merced and just a trace in Hanford.

Elevations above 9,000 feet were expected to see 2-3 inches of snow. As of Wednesday night, Tioga Road was closed temporarily due to snow and icy conditions.

The forecast calls for dry, warmer weather through the weekend. However, there is a slight chance of another larger storm system hitting the Valley on Monday.