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Easter Weekend Forecast: Dangerous Winter Storm in Sierra, Thunderstorms in Valley
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 weeks ago on
March 29, 2024

Thunderstorms in the Valley, dangerous snow in the Sierra are in the forecast for the Easter weekend. (Shutterstock)

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A new winter storm bearing down on Central California will make travel in the Sierra hazardous and unadvisable, especially on Saturday morning, and could dampen Easter family gatherings held outdoors.

“So we’re definitely not encouraging travel just because it could be very difficult, especially if you were to get stranded in a car in a very snowy roadway.” — National Weather Service Hanford forecaster Andy Bollenbacher

National Weather Service forecaster Andy Bollenbacher said Friday morning that a new cold front arriving Friday will bring as much as a half-inch of rain to the Valley and two to three feet of snow to the Sierra, with snow levels starting at 5,000 feet.

The worst part of the winter storm will hit Saturday morning and will make travel in the Sierra extremely dangerous, Bollenbacher said.

“So we’re definitely not encouraging travel just because it could be very difficult, especially if you were to get stranded in a car in a very snowy roadway,” he said.

If you absolutely must travel into the Sierra, be sure to bring along food, water, fuel, and winter clothing in case you get stranded, Bollenbacher said.

NWS Hanford Snow Projection for March 29

Thunderstorms in Valley

The Valley’s storm will include the potential for thunderstorms that could bring lightning strikes and hail, and even funnel clouds, he said. Areas with thunderstorms will have localized areas of heavy rain, he said.

“It seems to be something that happens when we have these upper systems come through, these upper lows, that’ll sometimes enhance the potential for a funnel cloud or two,” Bollenbacher said. “That can’t be ruled out as well. So we’ll be looking at that situation, as things unfold. We’re definitely monitoring the potential of the weekend.”

Easter Sunday will be cool and cloudy, with high temperatures in the 60s in the Fresno area.

By midweek Fresno’s daily highs will be slightly above normal, reaching the mid-70s by midweek, but forecasters are keeping their eye on the first weekend of April when another storm system could be on the horizon, he said.

NWS Hanford Rain Projections March 29-31

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
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

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