What is an Atmospheric River? First round of storms arrive in Central Valley

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Thursday, February 1, 2024
First round of storms arrive in Central California
An Atmospheric River has officially reached Central California.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An Atmospheric River has officially reached Central California. Stay with ABC30 for live updates.


7:45 AM

A Flood Advisory is in effect for Fresno and Madera counties until 10:30 am Thursday morning. Drivers should take extra caution on the roads.

The full story follows below.

The first round of storms arrived with light rainfall Wednesday evening that turned into stronger rainfall Thursday morning.

The storms are also bringing rainfall and snow to Southern and Northern California.

Some parts of the North Valley and Foothill communities could see heavier rainfall throughout the day.

A Flood Watch is in effect for some Foothill communities, including Mariposa, Oakhurst and Coarsegold.

Thunderstorms are possible for certain parts of the Valley. If you hear thunder, you're urged to take shelter.

Areas above 5,000 feet over the High Sierra could see between one to three feet of snow, and one to three inches of snow accumulations as low as 4,000 feet.

Sustained winds in the San Joaquin Valley are expected to be around 35 mph, and in the High Sierra, wind gusts can reach up to 75 mph.

Both rain and snow totals are expected to double with the second round of storms over the weekend and into next week.

Sandbags are available throughout the Valley.

RELATED: Here's where to find the nearest sandbag location in the Central Valley

The California Office of Emergency Management is prepared for whatever the storms will drop on the state and is ready to rescue people from flooding and other dangerous situations.

Officials with electric companies say the best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time.

They also say if you see downed power lines, keep your distance because you never know when it's still energized, and mixing that in with the rain can be deadly.

Some outages were already reported on Wednesday in parts of Fresno County with high winds playing a factor.