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Storm system brings wind, showers and lightning to Valley

The view of Sunday’s storm as it approached Fresno, photographed from the National Weather Service office in Hanford.
The view of Sunday’s storm as it approached Fresno, photographed from the National Weather Service office in Hanford. National Weather Service

A wild weather front brought gusty winds, lightning and rain to the Fresno metro area and communities around the Valley Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Weather service meteorologist Christine Riley said the winds from the west side of the Valley moved into the Fresno, Clovis and Madera areas, bringing windy and rainy conditions.

Across the Central California region, nearly 1,000 flashes of lightning were recorded since 1 p.m. Sunday, the weather service said.

A storm system that moved south through the area from the Central Coast kicked off scattered showers in the Valley and Sierra Nevada throughout Sunday, Riley said.

There were reports of rain – in some cases heavy rain – around the Fresno and Clovis areas. As of about 9 p.m., 0.04 inches of rain were recorded in Fresno, the weather service said. Rain was also reported in Sanger, Laton, Hanford and other west-side communities. Mendota reported 0.24 inches of rain Sunday evening, the National Weather Service tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Kettleman City and Lemoore on the west side of the Valley saw showers Sunday afternoon. At one point, the weather service recorded 18 lightning flashes in five minutes near Lemoore. The Hanford area got sprinkles.

In the South Valley, Visalia reported wind gusts up to 39 mph around 7 p.m. Gusty winds also were reported in Tulare.

In the Sierra foothills, a bank of dark storm clouds shrouded the mountains and prompted the weather service to issue an urban and small stream flood advisory near Oakhurst and Auberry. There were no immediate reports of problems, however.

There were a couple of reports of trees blocking roadways, in Fresno’s Fig Garden area and near Del Rey. Power lines were reported down in the Tipton area.

In central Fresno, over 2,600 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers were without power late Sunday night.

PG&E reported more than 900 customers were without power in areas between Del Mar and West avenues through Ashlan Avenue.

Around 9:34 p.m., another 1,742 customers were reported to be without power in the area of Shaw and Cedar avenues, including some Fresno State student dormitories.

Several homes and businesses in the area remained in the dark as PG&E crews were notified of the outages.

Earlier Sunday, nearly 200 customers were also without power west of Highway 99 in an area of Dudley Avenue between Hughes and Valentine avenues, but those customers apparently had their power restored Sunday night, according to PG&E’s outage map.

It was not known whether the outages were caused by the passing storm. Crews were assessing the areas.

For Monday, Riley said the only areas that could see rain from thunderstorms is the Sierra Nevada mountain areas.

The next chance for rain in the Valley is expected for Thursday and could continue through the weekend.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez

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