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Winter Weather in May in Fresno? It's 'Definitely Weird'
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 3, 2024

Rain and snow are in the forecast for the Valley and Sierra this weekend. (Shutterstock)

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Winter isn’t quite done with us yet, even though the calendar says it’s May and temperatures in the Valley already have soared into the upper 80s.

“Yeah, it’s definitely unusual. It can happen, but it’s very unusual that winter is still here and we’re still getting snow and rain in the Valley.” —Emily Wilson, meteorologist, National Weather Service in Hanford

Get ready for a quick blast of winter weather, with a 20-degree drop in the daytime highs from Friday’s high of 83 in Fresno to the mid-60s Saturday and Sunday, a half inch of rain in Fresno from midday Saturday through Saturday night, and a winter weather advisory for the Sierra that will lower snow levels to 5,000 feet starting Saturday and ending Sunday.

By this time of year the Valley typically is seeing high-pressure ridges that bring warmer, drier weather, said meteorologist Emily Wilson with the National Weather Service in Hanford.

But a trough from the Pacific Northwest is bearing down on California, bringing cooler temperatures, rain, and snow.

“It’s definitely a very interesting situation. It’s not unusual this happens, but it’s definitely weird that it’s progressing this way,” she said. “We’re supposed to be getting a ridge by now, but we’re continuing to get troughs into the Valley. And the troughs coming down from the Pacific Northwest, driving down pretty far.

“Yeah, it’s definitely unusual. It can happen, but it’s very unusual that winter is still here and we’re still getting snow and rain in the Valley.”

Now You See It …

Wilson said the wavy patterns over the polar regions are “more wavy than normal,” contributing to the weekend’s unusual weather system that’s quickly descending and will also quickly depart.

Dry weather and warmer temperatures will return early next week, she said.

If you’re planning to head up to the mountains this weekend, make sure to have your chains and also supplies like water, food, blanket and warm clothing in case you are stranded, Wilson said.

Snow will be heavier in the mountains in Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa counties, she said.

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
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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