Buckets of Rain in Store for Fresno Until Mid-January
Coming days and weeks could deliver huge amounts of precipitation to the Central Valley and Sierra, according to forecast models.
The Global Forecast System anticipates a blanket of participation over the next seven days for California. And, the Valley floor, foothills, and Southern Sierra are expected to get the biggest drenching.
In fact, NOAA’s Quantitative Precipitation Forecast indicates that the Central Valley’s river basins could receive 15 to 20 inches over the next week. QPF represents the amount of liquid measured when the precipitation melts.
Winter Storm Warning Through Sunday Morning
In anticipation of what’s ahead, the NWS in Hanford upgraded its Winter Storm Watch to a warning that will be in effect until 4 a.m. Sunday.
“Heavy snow is forecasted for the mountains and higher elevations and travel will be difficult to near impossible,” the Hanford office said in a tweet posted at noon on Thursday.
More Heavy Rain in Fresno
The NWS predicts 2 to 3 inches of rain powered by an atmospheric river for Fresno from 10 p.m. Thursday through 10 a.m. New Year’s Day. The forecast also calls for 1 to 2 inches of snow at Shaver Lake and 4 to 8 inches at Sequoia National Park locations.
“The heaviest snow will occur in the Sierra above 8,000 feet where three to four feet will fall in most locations,” the NWS said in its Thursday afternoon forecast discussion.
Here is the latest forecasted amount of rain and snow for this weekend’s AR event for the San Joaquin Valley. #Fresno #Bakersfield #CAWx pic.twitter.com/nMXrYkqDUp
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) December 29, 2022
Meanwhile, The Weather Channel’s extended forecast calls for the possibility of rain daily through Jan. 12.
Forecast models indicate that next Wednesday and Thursday could see an inch or more of rain each day.
Updated Rainfall Total
Fresno has received 4.66 inches of rain since Oct. 1, which is 151 of “normal” for the date.
Last year, through Dec. 29, the city had received 5.21 inches. Unfortunately for the Valley economy, which is highly dependent on water, January through March was nearly bone dry as California’s drought continued for a third straight year.
Fresno’s record for rain in December, 6.73 inches, occurred in 1955. The city’s record for rain in a calendar year came in 1983 with 21.83 inches.
Road Into Yosemite Reopens
Yosemite National Park officials said Wednesday that El Portal Road into Yosemite Valley is open again.
Anyone traveling to the park should call (209) 372-0200 for road information ahead of time.