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May 22, 2019/report

May 22, 2019

Summary: Very odd, to say the least.  That is how I would characterize the configuration on models this morning.  A trough of low pressure stretches from Minnesota on the northeast to southern California on the southwest.  There are still some lingering showers in the valley at this hour, but they are decreasing and will end by midday.  A pool of unusually cold air in association with the low is overhead.  The freezing level overnight over Oakland was 6,200 feet, which was the lowest freezing level in the lower 48.  It’s very rare when I can say that.  Obviously, temperatures again today will feel more like March than late May.


A broad area of low pressure will remain over the interior west through Friday.  Central California will essentially be on the far back side of the trough for a continuation of rain and snow showers over the Sierra Nevada and even a slight chance of a few showers over the valley floor Thursday and Thursday night, mainly near the Sierra Nevada foothills.


This peculiar pattern is not over by any stretch of the imagination. A new low center will develop over the Pacific Northwest Friday then will drop southward into California over the weekend.  Models vary somewhat on the exact path of this system, but it will be another cold one with an increasing risk of showers and isolated thunderstorms beginning Saturday and lasting right through Memorial Day.  Temperatures may not be quite as chilly as they have been recently, but even so, readings will range in the low to mid 70s through Monday.


It still looks like the break in the pattern will begin Tuesday of next week.  Models show a ridge of high pressure building along the west coast and moving inland by midweek.  We should see temperatures rising to near average by Wednesday and, depending upon model of choice, possibly above average for a change later next week.


Forecast: A chance o flight showers for a time this morning.  Partly to mostly cloudy this afternoon through tonight.  Variable cloudiness Thursday through Friday.  A small chance of a few showers mainly near the Sierra Nevada foothills Thursday and Thursday night.  variable cloudiness again Saturday through Monday with a good chance of showers each day.  A chance of isolated thunderstorms each afternoon.  Partly cloudy Monday night and Tuesday morning.  Mostly clear Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday.


Short Term:                                                                        

Madera 67/49/74/52/79 Reedley 68/50/75/52/78 Dinuba 67/49/74/51/78
Porterville 67/49/75/52/79 Lindsay 67/48/74/51/79 Delano 67/51/75/55/79
Bakersfield 65/54/74/56/78 Taft 67/54/74/57/78 Arvin 65/53/73/57/80
Lamont 65/53/75/57/80 Pixley 68/51/75/53/79 Tulare 67/50/75/52/78
Woodlake 67/49/74/52/78 Hanford 67/51/74/53/79 Orosi 67/50/74/53/78


Seven Day Forecast:


Showers likely



Showers likely



Showers likely



Partly cloudy



Mostly clear



Two Week Outlook:  May 27 through June 2:  This model does not give up on a trough of low pressure covering most of the west during this period.  The risk for showers will be higher than average for this late in the season with a continuation of at least marginally below average temperatures.


May: As we now enter the dry season, precipitation chances, according to this model, will be that of most Mays, in other words, near seasonal.  Nothing too dramatic shows up as far as temperatures are concerned with readings near to marginally above average.


May, June, July: As we move through the late spring through mid summer, precipitation opportunities will be typical, in other words, not very high and that’s especially true for June and July.  For this 90 day period, temperatures are projected to run somewhat above seasonal values.


Winds:  Winds will be variable at 5 to 15 MPH today with locally stronger gusts, mainly this afternoon.  Winds tonight through Friday night will generally be in the 5 to 12 MPH range with periods of calm conditions overnight.  Winds Saturday will be mainly out of the west to northwest at 10 to 15 MPH with stronger gusts near showers and/or thunderstorms.


Rain: There are a few light showers remaining over the valley floor this morning, but they will diminish over the next several hours with generally dry weather this afternoon and tonight.  There will be a minimal chance of a few showers Thursday and Thursday night, mainly near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  Currently, it appears we’ll enjoy dry weather Friday and Friday night, but a new low developing over the Pacific Northwest will drop southward into northern and central California Saturday and will linger through Memorial Day.  The risk for scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will be high on all three days.  Precipitation amounts will vary widely, ranging from very little to possibly as much as .33 when and if thunderstorms occur.  Finally, it appears the long awaited dry pattern will arrive Monday night and Tuesday as a ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific finally puts an end to one of the most odd May patterns I’ve ever seen.  In fact, we should have dry conditions from Tuesday through the following weekend.


Afternoon Dew Points Today:  Mid to upper 40s.  Kern: Mid to upper 40s. Humidity values ranging from 50%/90% at Hanford.  Bakersfield 50%/85%

Actual Humidity May 21, 2019: Delano, 100%/48% Porterville, 97%/45%


Percentage of Sunshine Today/Tomorrow: Visalia: Today: 20%, tomorrow 40%  Bakersfield: Today: 10% Tomorrow: 40%


ET Rates Over the Past Seven Days: Stratford .88, Parlier 1.05, Blackwell 1.14, Lindcove .NA, Arvin 1.05, Orange Cove .95, Porterville 1.09, Delano 1.11. Courtesy University of California *=estimate, NA=not available


Seven Day Soil Temperatures: Stratford 67, Parlier 67, Blackwell 72, Lindcove, NA, Arvin, 67, Orange Cove 67, Porterville 71, Delano 68

Record Temperatures: 104/43. Average Temperatures: 86/56

Cooling Degree Days this Season: 160 +36

Courtesy of the NWS

Average temperature for May so far: 66.7 -1.0

Precipitation:  Seasonal total/average/above or below average

Since Oct 1, 2018  Fresno: 11.26 season. or +.27.  Month to Date: 1.79 +1.47

Since Oct 1, 2018,  Bakersfield:  7.41, or +1.18.  Month to Date: 1.41 +1.27

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: 5:46 am  Sunset: 8:06 pm. Hours of Daylight:  14:18

Yesterday’s Weather:

MAE   : Madera               253 : DH1700 /  71 /  53 / 0.04 /

FAT   : Fresno Airport       333 : DH1700 /  67 /  53 /    T /

HJO   : Hanford Airport      242 : DH1700 /  72 /  51 /    T /

NLC   : Lemoore Naval AS     234 : DH1700 /  71 /  47 / 0.02 /

BFL   : Bakersfield Airport  496 : DH1700 /  61 /  51 /    T /

VIS   : Visalia Airport      292 : DH1700 /  70 /  51 /    T /

ATEC1 : Avenal               787 : DH1700 /  53 /  52 / 0.00 /

PTV   : Porterville Airport  442 : DH1700 /  70 /  47 /    T /

TFTC1 : Taft                 759 : DH1649 /  66 /  51 / 0.00 /

LOSC1 : Los Banos            120 : DH1600 /  67 /  52 / 0.01 /



Rainfall:  Water year Oct 1st through September 30th

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

STOCKTON                      0.15   18.25   135    9.09    67    13.55    14.06

MODESTO                       0.08   12.88   103    8.00    64    12.55    13.11

MERCED                        0.17   13.11   110    6.91    58    11.97    12.50

MADERA                        0.04   10.95    95    7.22    63    11.49    12.02

FRESNO                           T   11.11   101    6.73    61    10.99    11.50

HANFORD                          T    8.69    90    4.70    49     9.64    10.10

BAKERSFIELD                      T    7.41   119    3.93    63     6.23     6.47

BISHOP                        0.00    8.37   189    1.43    32     4.43     5.18

SALINAS                       0.06   13.70   110    7.13    57    12.46    12.83

PASO ROBLES                   0.05   14.85   120    9.62    78    12.39    12.78

SANTA MARIA                   0.01   15.56   114    6.01    44    13.67    13.95


Next report:  Thursday, May 23