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Winter Storm Hits Valley Just in Time for Election Day



Steady rain soaked this pedestrian Monday morning on Herndon Avenue in north Fresno. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)
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If you’re planning to vote in person on Election Day, you’ll want to dig out your umbrella or else you may get soaked. Rain and possibly thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday, says Jim Bagnall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.

The winter storm that’s bringing rain to the Valley and lower elevations of the Sierra is also forecast to drop as much as 6 feet of snow above the 8,000-foot level of the mountains, Bagnall said.

A winter storm warning will remain in effect for the Sierra through Wednesday morning, and drivers are advised to delay their travel plans if possible, he said. Snow levels are now dropping down to the 6,500-foot level, Bagnall said.

Travelers to the mountains will need to bring chains.

As of Monday morning, about a tenth of an inch of rain had fallen in the Fresno area, he said. The steady light rain is scheduled to continue until about lunchtime and then hold off until resuming later Monday afternoon.

Monday’s high for the Fresno area is forecast to be 54 degrees, and the overnight low is forecast for 46.

Watch Out for Fog

Slick highways are not the only thing Valley residents should be preparing for. Moisture plus cooler weather equals fog, which can create blinding conditions on freeways and rural roads during early morning hours.

This week’s storm is not altogether unusual for this time of year, Bagnall said. The cold and wet weather is moving southeastward out of the Gulf of Alaska and could drop an inch and a half of rain on the Valley before it ends, he said.

The forecast is for a La Nina winter, which could either mean warmer and dryer or colder and wetter, Bagnall said.

Fingers crossed for colder and wetter.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email