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Have Outdoor Plans? Fresno Rain Will Relent for a Spell



The weekend forecast for Fresno should allow families the opportunity to gather outdoors without worrying about rain. (Shutterstock)
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After showers today and thunderstorms tonight, the Fresno area is primed for a run of dry sunny weather Thursday through Sunday afternoon.

However, the chance of rain from Sunday evening to Tuesday is less than 30%, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford.

More certain for early next week are wind gusts reaching 25 mph.

The high temperature for both Saturday and Sunday is expected to be 68 degrees, providing an opportunity to do family activities outdoors.

Difficult Mountain Travel

North and south of the Valley, this latest storm system is packing a bigger punch — making travel difficult and adding to an epic mountain snowpack.

While forecasters said the storm was not as strong as those earlier this month, chains were required for vehicles on highways through the Sierra Nevada. And, a section of U.S. 395 on the eastern side of the range was closed due to snowfall.

Twitter account @mdettinger provided the comparison seen below of the Sierra snowpack in the drought year of 2015 and today.

Sierra Snowpack Comparsion 2015 vs. 2023

Record-Breaking Snow

As of Tuesday, the water content of the snowpack was 228% of the April 1 average, a benchmark for its historical peak, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the Eastern Sierra declared its snowiest season on record after 28 inches of snow since Tuesday afternoon pushed season snowfall totals to 695 inches at its main lodge and 870 inches at the summit of the 11,053-foot peak.

Another foot of snow fell at resorts around Lake Tahoe, including 14 inches at Palisades south of Truckee. That resort is now within 11 inches of reaching its record of 701 inches and has announced plans to keep some slopes open until the Fourth of July.

Chains Required on Highway 168 Heading to Shaver Lake

Chains are required on all vehicles except 4-wheel drives with snow tires on Highway 168 from Pineridge to the east end of Huntington Lake, Caltrans reports.

In addition, there is one-way controlled traffic 1.7 miles east of Pine Ridge because of storm damage and again at Dalton Avenue in Shaver Heights due to a washout.

Costa, Valadao Want Biden to Declare a Major Disaster Due to Storms

U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D-Fresno), David Valadao (R-Hanford), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), and Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), along with U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to President Joe Biden urging him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of California in response to recent winter storms beginning Feb. 21.

“The recent weather events caused widespread flooding, erosion, power outages, and road closures across the state that have threatened the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Californians,” the letter states.

This is the second time the full California delegation has joined together in support of federal disaster assistance this year; on Jan.  13, the lawmakers urged Biden to provide federal support for the state amidst the December and January storms.

“State and local resources that were already strained due to response and recovery efforts have now been pushed to the limit responding to the current crisis,” the lawmakers added.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email