Significant multi-day winter storm begins Tuesday

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Damaging winds, heavy rain, and many feet of snow are forecast to impact Central California Tuesday night – and stay with us until Friday.

The biggest weather threat Tuesday night will be the wind. As of Tuesday evening, the wind reached speeds of 20 mph in the North Valley, and it will get stronger overnight. Here’s the forecast for 2 a.m.:

Tuesday night wind forecast: 2 AM

A high wind warning will go into effect at midnight for the North Valley, along with the west side hills. Wind gusts as strong as 60-70 mph will be also possible Wednesday morning. Wind gusts that strong can cause trees to fall, bring down power lines, and cause widespread power outages.

High wind warning

Advice is to have an emergency kit ready in the event of a power outage. That includes flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable food, and candles. Also have electronic devices charged before the storm arrives.

The forecast predicts the wind will remain through Thursday night, and then weaken into Friday.

Rain is also spreading into the Central Valley Tuesday evening. The amounts will remain light at first, then pick up toward daybreak Wednesday. Expect periods of heavy rain Wednesday through Thursday night, then the rain will taper off Friday.

9 PM Tuesday radar

By the end of the storm on Friday, parts of the Central Valley will have received 2-4″ of rain. Minor flooding will be an issue throughout this storm.

Storm total rainfall estimates

In the foothills, expect snow down to 2000 feet as the storm moves in Tuesday evening. A few inches of snow will accumulate, but snow levels will rise throughout Tuesday night. By sunrise Wednesday, they’ll be near 4500 feet and lower elevation snow will likely melt. The rest of the even will bring heavy rain to the foothills. In Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa counties’ foothills, over 6 inches of rain will be possible. In the Tulare County foothills, 2 to 3 inches of rail will fall.

Winter storm warning

Heavy snow will fall, especially above 4000 feet. A winter storm warning will be in effect through early Friday morning. Up to 18 inches will be possible at 4000 feet, with 6 feet or more possible above 5000 feet.

Sierra rain/snow

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