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Record-Warm Temps, Thunderstorms: This December Weather Is Just Weird

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The weather forecast for the next week or so is for a warmer storm followed by a colder one in Fresno. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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If you haven’t raked up your leaves yet, Saturday will be the perfect day to take care of that chore, with high temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal forecast for Fresno and the Valley and the possibility of setting an all-time high for Dec. 16.

Saturday’s forecast high is 69, one degree cooler than the record of 70 set in 1958.

And those leaves will be less fun to rake up after rain, with the possibility of thunderstorms, arrives on Sunday.

Two storm systems are heading toward the Valley next week, starting with Sunday’s storm that could bring a half-inch of rain to Fresno by the end of Tuesday, meteorologist Andy Bollenbacher of the National Weather Service said Friday.

Rain could be heavier in the areas of isolated thunderstorms, he said.

Warmer Storm Followed by Colder One

The first and warmer storm will be due to a low-pressure system moving its way northward, raising snow levels in the Sierra to above 9,000 feet. Once that system moves northward, a second low-pressure system will meander along the coast, bringing colder temperatures and more rain from Wednesday through Friday, Bollenbacher said.

Fresno could get another half-inch of rain, and snow levels will drop to 7,000 to 7,500 feet, he said.

Given the lack of rain so far this month, the amount forecast will be beneficial but is not expected to be hazardous, Bollenbacher said.

Santa’s Weather Report?

The question on everyone’s mind at this time of year: What kind of weather will Santa encounter on Christmas Eve as he’s making his annual gift deliveries to all the good girls and boys?

“So some of the models do indicate that we could see some more activity heading into that last stretch of December. So we’ll see how these storms develop first before we figure out what’s happening on Christmas with Santa,” he said.

As we all know, cold + moisture can mean fog for the Valley. But “Rudolph can help with the fog,” he joked.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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