Atmospheric River Expected to Hit Fresno Hard Tonight, End Wednesday
Wet weather is in the cards for the next eight to 14 days according to longer-range forecasts by the National Weather Services’ Climate Prediction Center, said Brian Ochs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
Another warm, atmospheric river-type storm is scheduled to arrive in Central California on Monday, with some showers earlier in the day and then the “main moisture” arriving late Monday night, Ochs said Monday morning
By the time the storm is over on Wednesday morning, the Sierra could get another 3 to 6 inches of rain, with snow levels climbing as high as 8,000 feet, he said. Rain totals in the Central Valley could range from a half-inch to 1.5 inches, he said.
Fresno County officials estimated on Monday afternoon that the Dunlap foothills area will receive 4 to 6 inches of rain starting tonight through Tuesday afternoon. The forecast for the Shaver Lake area calls for 5 to 8 inches.
Because the new rain is falling on top of saturated soil and also is continuing to melt snow in the Sierra, the flood potential remains “quite high,” Ochs said. The flood watch that began last week will continue to be in effect until at least Wednesday morning, he said.
Related Story: Latest Storm Puts Mother Nature’s Awesome Power on Display in Valley
Daytime highs will cool off later this week, which means snow levels could drop back to 5,500 feet with the next storm that is forecast to arrive this weekend, Ochs said.
As for this past weekend’s weather, Ochs said that the predicted clearer weather on Sunday was overtaken by a disturbance in the upper atmosphere that caused thunderstorms to roll across the region.
Highway 180 Closing
Fresno County officials said Monday afternoon that Highway 180 will close at 7 p.m. Monday two miles east of Dunlap to Highway 245 because of rockslides. Only local people with proof of residence will be allowed through.
On Tuesday, access will be evaluated again, officials said, but the route may stay closed until Wednesday.
For additional road closes, check this link.
Fresno County Property Damage Survey
County officials are asking residents to complete the property damage form if they’ve had damage to their personal residences from the ongoing storms beginning in late February.
These completed forms will enable Fresno County to assess all of the damage that has occurred and submit the info for potential funding from state and federal resources.
Go to this link on the Fresno County Emergency webpage to fill out the survey.
Watch: Storms Raise Kings River Water Level
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Madera County Preps for Newest Storm
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office said Monday afternoon that it has been busy preparing for the storm expected tonight.
“Crews are strategically placing sandbags in critical areas and continuously monitoring conditions throughout the county, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. “We would like to caution residents that the impacts to our community are not over. … We encourage residents who may be impacted to begin preparing NOW for potential changes. It is critical that residents heed evacuation warnings from local officials.”
For storm resources and information, visit ReadyMadera.com
Hail, Thunderstorms Hit Outlying Areas of Fresno
Anyone watching television over the weekend saw a barrage of weather alerts from the National Weather Service for flash floods, thunderstorms, hail, and even a potential tornado in the San Joaquin Valley.
Colin McCarthy of @US_Stormwatch tweeted out this example of what storm chasers saw.
The long-track supercell near Fresno, California today resembled something you would see in Oklahoma.
Truly a special day of storm chasing. pic.twitter.com/obJ2HA7uJV
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) March 13, 2023
And here’s a look at Sunday’s storm activity near Fresno.
Major flash flooding developing in violent heavy rain and hail outside Fresno. pic.twitter.com/SxOjWqjoQm
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) March 13, 2023
A tornado briefly touched down in Tuolumne County during severe thunderstorms Saturday that also dumped an inch of hail, NWS Sacramento said.
Classes Resume at Reedley College
Reedley College, which closed at 1 p.m. Friday because of the storm, resumed classes and other activities on Monday morning.
“If your own travel to campus is impacted by the effects of the storm and you are unable to attend class because of storm conditions, please inform your instructor via Canvas or email as soon as possible. Areas of campus along the Kings River will remain off limits,” said spokesman George Takata in a news release.
Clovis Business Launches Fundraising Drive to Help Flood Victims
Clovis Mattress has launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for families affected by the recent flooding in the Valley.
“Flooding can destroy lives, and it’s heartbreaking to see families losing their homes and belongings,” said Jeremy Dyer of Clovis Mattress in a news release. “As a local business, we have a responsibility to give back to our community during these difficult times.”
To donate, visit this GoFundMe link.
Friant, Pine Flat Reservoirs at 67% Capacity
The two main reservoirs on the San Joaquin and Kings rivers, Friant and Pine Flat, respectively, have room to absorb rain and run off ahead of the spring snowmelt. Each was at 67% capacity at midnight Sunday.
The massive San Luis Reservoir on Highway 152 and Interstate 5 is at 86% capacity.
Since Friday, more than 33 inches of snow fell at a measuring station in the Sierra Nevada, and more is expected. The snowpack is now nearly twice the average, and the highest in about four decades, according to UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab.
Another 13.2″ (33.5 cm) of #snow over the last 24 hours has taken us to the third snowiest winter on record at the lab! We now have 651″ (1653 cm) from Oct 1 to present.
We’re expecting another 18-30″ of snow through tomorrow and then rain tomorrow afternoon.#CAwx #CAwater pic.twitter.com/XDQeoif9ZP
— UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (@UCB_CSSL) March 13, 2023
I just wanted to point out that, consistent w/predictions made by folks who study CA floods & snowpack, warm Fri storm did not “melt all the snow.” There was certainly snowmelt, but big concern is what may come later, when snowpack actually *does* start melting rapidly. #CAwater https://t.co/i3pCPPh0j0
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) March 12, 2023
How Much Is a Cubic Foot per Second?
One of the terms used to describe the flow of water is cubic feet per second or CFS. This animation from SJV Water puts that amount into perspective.
I did a Doodly! It’s my first ever … pic.twitter.com/5Osc4uhcpX
— SJV Water (@SJVWater) March 10, 2023
(GV Wire’s Bill McEwen contributed to this report.)