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March 27, 2019/report

March 27, 2019

Summary:  Locally heavy rain has spread over  northern California with generally lighter showers in central California, especially from Fresno County north.  As expected, a strong rain shadow is developing along the Coast Range, zapping precipitation amounts over  much of the valley.  The risk factor for showers and even some isolated thunderstorms this afternoon will increase as the cold front moves through around midday or so.  Still, it appears rainfall amounts along the west side and even further east will be light as this rain shadow is particularly strong due to a 100 knot jet stream over northern California.  That jet stream will sag southward into central California this afternoon and tonight.  Even so, this is weather and we’ll see how all this pans out, but the chance for heavy precipitation on the valley floor is low except where thunderstorms occur.  The opposite is true in the sierra Nevada where orographics lift the air mass  higher into the sky where it mixes with cold air aloft, producing heavy precipitation, especially from Fresno County north.


It now appears showers will continue into Thursday morning before things wind down by about midday.  Dry weather will return Thursday afternoon and continue through the weekend and into the early part of next week.


A weak weather system will move into the Pacific Northwest and  northern California around Tuesday night or Wednesday.  It’s possible light showers could spread as far south as Fresno County but for now it appears the chance of measurable rain further south is extremely low.  Models for the past week have been projecting a very active pattern after April 4.  That continues to hold this morning as a powerful low will park off the coast of the Pacific Northwest with a very moist westerly flow into California for chances of precipitation from time to time.


Forecast: Showers likely today north of Kern County with a chance of isolated thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.  Showers tonight with a chance of showers for a time Thursday morning.  Partly to mostly cloudy Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.  Mostly clear to occasionally partly cloudy Friday afternoon through Tuesday.  Variable cloudiness Tuesday night and Wednesday with a slight chance of showers from Fresno County north.


Short Term:                                                                        

Madera 69/46/68/43/68 Reedley 70/46/68/42/67 Dinuba 70/47/68/42/68
Porterville 71/46/68/41/68 Lindsay 70/45/67/42/68 Delano 71/46/67/43/67
Bakersfield 73/52/68/46/67 Taft 71/51/67/46/67 Arvin 72/50/68/46/68
Lamont 71/50/69/44/68 Pixley 71/46/68/42/67 Tulare 69/45/68/41/67
Woodlake 69/45/68/41/68 Hanford 70/46/67/44/67 Orosi 69/45/67/41/67


Seven Day Forecast:


Mostly clear



Mostly clear



Mostly clear



Partly cloudy



Mostly cloudy



Two Week Outlook:  April 3 through April 9:  This model is indicating an active weather pattern for the northern 2/3 of California with a strong low off the Oregon coast and a strong westerly flow into California.  Models project disturbances will ride this flow into California from time to time for periodic chances of showers.  The flow aloft would be mild, so temperatures, especially overnight, will be above average.


March:  February is a classic example of the unreliability of long range weather forecasting.  The 30 day outlook for February was for above average temperatures and drier than normal conditions.  Can you say “Ooops”?  anyway, the 30 day out look for March gives us marginally above average temperatures with equal chances of above or below precipitation (so in other words, flip a coin).


February, March, April:  At least this model projects about equal chances for either above or below average precipitation.  There is actually a greater possibility of below average rain over the Pacific Northwest. Generally speaking, temperatures should remain at least marginally above average.


Winds:  Winds will be mainly out of the east to southeast at 5 to 15 MPH with local gusts to 25 MPH this afternoon.  Winds tonight and Thursday will be generally out of the west or northwest at 10 to 20 MPH with stronger gusts possible, mainly along the west side.  Winds Thursday night through Saturday will be generally at or less than 12 MPH with periods of near calm conditions during the  night and morning hours.


Rain: Models have been projecting a strong rain shadow along the west side and in Kern County and so far that seems to be the case.  As a strong southwesterly flow aloft approaches the Sierra Nevada, showers regenerate.  This is occurring from extreme northern Kings County to Madera County at this hour.  Showers are moving towards the northeast at around 25 MPH.  as the front  moves through today and daytime heating begins, more showers will develop with the chance of isolated thunderstorms, mainly north of Kern County.  Periods of showers can be expected tonight into early Thursday morning with most, if not all, the action ending by midday.  Rainfall amounts along the east side of Fresno and Madera Counties could range from .33 to .50 with .25 plus totals possible in Tulare County.  Along the west side where that rain shadow is prevalent, expect perhaps a tenth or two and less than a tenth over the valley portion of Kern County.


Dry weather will return Thursday afternoon and continue through Tuesday.  A small chance of light showers exists Tuesday night and Wednesday, however, rainfall appears unlikely south of Fresno County.


It still looks like an active pattern will set up about April 4 and will continue through the 8 for periodic showers.

Frost Discussion:  All locations will be above freezing for at least the next seven to ten days.


Afternoon Dew Points Today: Upper 40s to the lower 50s. Upper 40s to the lower 50s. Humidity values ranging from 50%/90% at Hanford.  Bakersfield 45%/85%

Actual Humidity March 26, 2019: Delano, NA Porterville, 90%/18%


Percentage of Sunshine Today/Tomorrow: Visalia: Today: 30%, tomorrow 70%  Bakersfield: Today: 50% Tomorrow: 40%


ET Rates Over the Past Seven Days: Stratford .90, Parlier .90, Blackwell NA, Lindcove .NA, Arvin .89, Orange Cove .76, Porterville .90, Delano NA Courtesy University of California *=estimate, NA=not available


Seven Day Soil Temperatures: Stratford 58, Parlier 58, Blackwell 53, Lindcove, 60, Arvin, 59, Orange Cove 55, Porterville 60, Delano NA

Record Temperatures: 91/31. Average Temperatures: 69/45

Heating Degree Days this Season: 1985 +428

Courtesy of the NWS

Average temperature for March so far: 55.3 +0.1

Precipitation:  Seasonal total/average/above or below average

Since Oct 1, 2018  Fresno: 8.99 season. or -.47. Month to Date: 1.17 -.60

Since Oct 1, 2018,  Bakersfield:  5.85, or +.44.  Month to Date: 1.97 +.92

Water year season is from October 1st through September.


Chilling Hours November 1st through February 28: Orange Cove,  Parlier,  Arvin, Shafter, Stratford, Lindcove, Porterville,

Hours at 45 or below 45.


Sunrise: 6:51 am  Sunset: 7:18 pm. Hours of Daylight:  12:23

Yesterday’s Weather:

MAE   : Madera               253 : DH1600 /  73 /  50 / 0.00 /

FAT   : Fresno Airport       333 : DH1600 /  73 /  50 / 0.00 /

HJO   : Hanford Airport      242 : DH1600 /  76 /  43 / 0.00 /

NLC   : Lemoore Naval AS     234 : DH1700 /  75 /  44 / 0.00 /

VIS   : Visalia Airport      292 : DH1700 /  73 /  44 / 0.00 /

ATEC1 : Avenal               787 : DH1656 /  74 /  46 / 0.00 /

PTV   : Porterville Airport  442 : DH1700 /  76 /  40 / 0.00 /

TFTC1 : Taft                 759 : DH1656 /  73 /  49 / 0.00 /

LOSC1 : Los Banos            120 : DH1600 /  68 /  48 / 0.00 /





Rainfall:  Water year Oct 1st through September 30th

24hr             Season        %            L.Y.               %               Ave.      Ave. yearly total

STOCKTON                      0.01   15.10   127    7.37    62    11.89    14.06

MODESTO                       0.02   11.75   108    5.78    53    10.87    13.11

MERCED                           T   11.70   114    5.66    55    10.26    12.50

MADERA                        0.00    9.52    96    6.51    66     9.89    12.02

FRESNO                        0.00    8.99    95    6.09    64     9.46    11.50

HANFORD                       0.00    7.32    88    4.41    53     8.33    10.10

BAKERSFIELD                   0.00    5.85   108    3.73    69     5.41     6.47

BISHOP                        0.00    7.55   189    0.82    21     3.99     5.18

SALINAS                          T   12.01   109    5.29    48    10.98    12.83

PASO ROBLES                   0.00   13.77   123    9.42    84    11.22    12.78

SANTA MARIA                   0.00   14.01   116    5.60    46    12.11    13.95


Next report:  Wednesday afternoon/March 27