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Storms arriving on Friday and Monday are expected to bring rain to the parched Valley and snow to the Sierra.

The precipitation will be welcomed throughout California and other parts of the West Coast, which are experiencing varying degrees of drought.

Heading into this month, California’s statewide snowpack stood at 52% of average, according to the state Department of Water Resources.  The Sierra snowpack typically supplies about 30% of California’s water needs.

In addition, the San Joaquin region’s precipitation index was 28% of normal on Wednesday morning.

US Drought Monitor Map, Jan. 14, 2021

Just 2 Days of Rain in Las Vegas Over Past 273 Days

Meanwhile, CNN reported Wednesday that three, or possibly four, separate storms could impact California, Nevada, and Arizona during the final two weeks of January.

As you can see on the drought monitor map above, more than 70% of the southwest is experiencing extreme drought.

According to CNN, Las Vegas has had rain just twice over the past 273 days. And, Phoenix recorded its fewest annual number of rainy days in 2020 — just 15.

Scattered Showers Expected Friday in Fresno

In its forecast discussion Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Hanford predicts scattered showers and higher elevation snow for Friday and Saturday in central California.

The storm could drop as much as a quarter-inch of rain in Fresno, NWS Hanford said.

NWS Hanford expects a “stronger and colder system” to arrive on Monday.

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