Central Valley

Winter storm hits the Valley

A winter storm that brought gusting winds and pelting rain to the central San Joaquin Valley on Sunday dropped trees and limbs on area roads and snow on higher elevations.

Showers are likely to continue today, with thunderstorms possible after 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service in Hanford. Clouds are a sure thing today, with winds of about 10 mph coming out of the south and southwest.

From Yosemite National Park to the southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare County, a winter storm advisory for elevations above 5,000 feet remains in effect until 4 p.m. today, the weather service said. Sixteen to 24 inches of snow is expected at higher elevations by the time the storm passes through.

Showers should taper off tonight as the weather becomes partly cloudy with decreasing winds. Temperatures should begin rising by Tuesday and highs should reach the low 70s by the weekend, the National Weather Service said. Overnight lows throughout the week will be in the 40s.

The storm arrived Sunday afternoon, and prompted the weather service to issue a wind advisory to warn travelers of potentially treacherous driving conditions.

Wind gusts reached 41 mph in Lemoore and 44 mph in Hanford, the weather service said. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned that blowing dust in Kern, Tulare and Kings County could aggravate breathing problems for some people.

Rain started falling in Fresno around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. By 5 p.m. Fresno had recorded 0.07 of an inch, but by 7:30 p.m. the brunt of the storm had hit, dropping about a third of an inch, the weather service said.

"For April, it's a pretty good storm," said Michael Bingham, a weather service meteorologist in Hanford.

The California Highway Patrol reported downed trees or tree limbs on nearly half a dozen roadways in the region. Near Sanger, Goodfellow Avenue just east of Newmark Avenue was blocked by a large tree, the CHP dispatch log reported.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reported scattered outages Sunday night throughout the Valley.