Record-breaking storm rounds out a wet January

Wet storm brings rain, downed tree, flooding

Local scenes from Sunday's storm which brought rain, flooding, and a downed tree in the Fresno area.
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Local scenes from Sunday's storm which brought rain, flooding, and a downed tree in the Fresno area.

The weekend storm brought plenty of rain and records to the central San Joaquin Valley and snow in the Sierra on Sunday, but it looks to be the last storm for a while.

Monday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with daytime highs in the 50s, a forecast that is not expected to change much for most of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

On Sunday, the storm set records for the date in Fresno, Madera, Hanford and Merced. In Fresno, 0.98 inches of rain fell Sunday, beating the record for the date of 0.96 inches set in 1963. North Clovis and Coalinga also received nearly an inch of rainfall Sunday, at 0.96 and 0.97, respectively.

The additional precipitation made January’s rain total of 4.24 inches the most Fresno has seen for the month since 1995, according to the National Weather Service. It also was enough to make this the eighth-wettest January on record.

Snow and heavy rainfall across the Valley stopped buses on their way to Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, bringing delays to the roadways earlier Sunday morning for travelers. One bus was forced to stop near Highway 168 and Cressman Road, the California Highway Patrol said, and two others were forced to stop due to heavy snowfall near the Highway 180 junction on its way to Grant Grove. Other vehicles also found themselves stuck in the snow, the CHP said.

Rain turned to snow at Bass Lake, dropping the snow line to about 3,000 feet in other locations across the foothills. Snow levels may fall as low as 2,500 feet Sunday night, the National Weather Service in Hanford said. Chain controls were in place on Highways 180, 168 and 41 into the Sierra Nevada.

A tree fell into the road, blocking a lane near Cedar and Nees avenues, but crews worked to remove the blockage. There also were reports of rock and mud in the roadway at North Friant Road near Old Friant Road, at Tollhouse Road and Lodge Road and five miles into the pass north of Coalinga.

Flooding was reported at several locations in the Porterville, Bakersfield and Visalia areas and on the Children’s Boulevard exit off of Highway 41 in Madera County.

As the storm moves out of the Valley, a wind advisory will move in for the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Indian Wells Valley through Monday afternoon. An earlier advisory measured gusts up to 80 mph in Kern County at Bird Springs Pass, the weather service said.

Staff writer Bridget Webster contributed to this report. Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614