MOUNTAIN AREA – Rain is on its way to the foothills and snow to the higher country including Yosemite, as this week’s weather looks a little wetter.
In Oakhurst on Monday, Jan. 4, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Hanford is suggesting a 50 percent chance of rain, without much to measure: somewhere between a tenth and a quarter inch of rain is possible, with a high temperature of around 52. On Monday night, a little more rain is in the forecast, with new precipitation predicted between a quarter and half an inch. The light precipitation turns into a storm on Tuesday, Jan. 5, as the rain in Oakhurst becomes heavy at times. We’re looking at 100 percent chance of precipitation and up to an inch of rain during the day. The much-needed deluge tapers off after 10 p.m. to showers, says Hanford, and a low around 33 degrees by Tuesday night. Early forecasts predict rain could continue throughout the week in the lower elevations, lightening up Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, then becoming more likely again on Saturday night. By Sunday it’s partly sunny, with a high near 49.
Meanwhile, in the higher elevations, a Winter Storm Watch is currently in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday evening for the southern Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon including Yosemite Valley. As this series of storms moves through Central California this week, light snow will fall higher in the Sierra on Monday, Jan. 4, followed by the stronger, wetter storm on Monday night through Tuesday. Snow level could drop to 5,000 or 6,000 feet elevation. Yosemite will likely see heavy snow and gusty winds, where new accumulations could total 8 to 16 inches, with the heaviest snow on Tuesday. Travelers in and around Yosemite should anticipate that roads could be impacted, with difficult travel conditions due to snow covered and icy roads and winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
We’ll continue to monitor and share the latest forecasts.