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Watch Out Today for Valley Thunderstorms, Funnel Cloud Spotted

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Valley residents are advised to watch for thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and evening south of Madera County bringing rain, hail and high winds. (Shutterstock)
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Though the atmospheric river that is triggering landslides and setting rain records in Southern California has delivered only light rain to Fresno and other Valley cities, residents are advised to watch for thunderstorms this evening south of Madera County and heavy snow in the Tulare County section of the Sierra.

“Dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, intense rainfall rates, and small hail are the primary thunderstorm hazards,” the National Weather Service in Hanford noted in its Tuesday morning forecast discussion.

Fresno received .19 inch of rain Sunday evening through 4 p.m. Monday, and it has an 84% chance of accumulating a half-inch today through Thursday morning, NWS Hanford said.

Meanwhile, the southern Sierra could experience the biggest weathermaker as there’s a greater than 70% probability of 18 inches of snow or more in the Tulare County mountains today through Thursday morning, NWS says.

Dry weather is expected in the Valley this weekend.

NWS Hanford Thunderstorm Tips

 

City Probabilities for Half Inch of Rain Through Thursday

These are the NWS odds for a half inch or more of rain today through Thursday morning:

  • Bakersfield, Porterville  — 96%
  • Visalia, Tulare, Delano — 92%
  • Hanford — 88%
  • Fresno — 84%
  • Lemoore — 82%
  • Madera — 70%
  • Merced — 58%

Tulare County Flood Preparation Measures

Tulare County Fire has self-serve sandbag locations at:

  • Kings River – Station 2
  • Dinuba – Station 3
  • Cutler-Orosi – Station 4
  • Alpaugh – Station 9
  • Lemon Cove – Station 13
  • Three Rivers – Station 14
  • Lindsay – Station 15
  • West Olive – Station 19
  • Doyle Colony – Station 20
  • Tulare – Station 25
  • Pixley – Station 27
  • Earlimart – Station 28

Storms Improve California Water Picture

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra reported Tuesday that the statewide snow water equivalent had improved by 23% in the past week.

300 Mudslides in Los Angeles

One of the wettest storms in Southern California history unleashed more than 300 mudslides in the Los Angeles area after dumping more than half the amount of rainfall the city typically gets in a season in just two days, and officials warned Tuesday that the threat hadn’t passed yet.

Officials expressed relief that the storm hadn’t killed anyone or caused a major catastrophe in Los Angeles so far despite its size and intensity, though three people were killed in Northern California after the storm came ashore over the weekend with strong winds that toppled trees.

Mayor Karen Bass thanked residents for heeding calls to stay off Los Angeles’ roads, and she urged people to continue doing so through the end of Tuesday, when the rain was expected to stop.

“Los Angeles can handle very big challenges. And if we stick together, we will come out so far ahead,” Bass said.

(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

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