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Will April Showers Finally Come Fresno’s Way?

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When did it last rain in Fresno?

March 20, and that was little more than a drip — .03 inches to be exact.

With Fresno’s total rainfall for the season at 6.44 inches, every little bit helps. That’s just 61% of normal for the period beginning July 1 of last year to today.

But, according to the National Weather Service Hanford forecast, a storm will deliver snow to the Sierra Nevada and rain to the Valley floor as early as Saturday night.

It’s too early to know how much precipitation is coming, but the NWS forecast says there’s “a very high potential of receiving widespread measurable precipitation.”

After the storm blows through, afternoon temperatures will return by mid-week, the NWS says.

Fresno Rainfall at 61% of Normal

With Fresno’s total rainfall for the season at 6.44 inches, every little bit helps. That’s just 61% of normal for the period beginning July 1 of last year to today.

Many cities and towns throughout California and the western United States are mired in droughts.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency in two Northern California counties in response to drought conditions affecting much of the state. And, politicians throughout California are urging Newsom to make a statewide emergency declaration.

A Look at the Record Books

In case you’re wondering, Fresno’s wettest April came in 1967 when 4.41 inches fell — helping push that water season to a drop short of 15 inches.

The driest April came in 1898 when no rain — not even a trace — was recorded. That year was the fourth-driest in Fresno history with 4.98 inches of precipitation.

The all-time wettest year: 1983, with 23.57 inches.

The record wettest month: January 1969, with 8.56 inches.

Want to scour Fresno’s rain history? The NWS maintains it at this link.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email