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February 23, 2023 report

February 23, 2023

I honestly wish I felt better so I could describe all the major events going on in central California weather. There are blizzard warnings out for the Sierra Nevada and the kern County mountains, various winter advisories for the Coast Range, the potential for strong winds Thursday night through Friday along with possibly as much as 1.00 to 1.50 of rain on the valley floor from tonight through Saturday. We are still very much in the coldest sector of the first winter blast to come through in a while. The latest balloon sounding showed a freezing level of just 2,100 feet, putting the snow level at roughly 1,500 feet or so. The main event of this very complex pattern is taking shape just off the northwest Oregon coastline. This low will gain strength as it heads southward, skirting the coast to a position just west of Crescent City late tonight and just west of San Francisco by midday Friday. Some of the model data coming in this morning is a bit mind blowing. Blended model information depicts nearly an inch and a half of rain in Bakersfield from tonight through Saturday and as much as 2 to 3 feet of new snow in the Tehachapi Mountains with 4 to 5 feet of new snow above 4,000 feet in the southern Sierra Nevada. Also, as the low tracks southward off the northern California coast, the pressure difference between the low and higher pressure over southern California and the Desert Southwest will generate strong, gusty, east to southeast winds on the valley floor. these winds may get particularly fierce in the typical wind prone areas at the base of the Tehachapi Mountains. Gusts in those locations may exceed 60 mph with 30 to 40 mph gusts elsewhere. Winds will begin to die off by Saturday morning as the low tracks further south along the southern California coast then finally moves in Sunday. Sunday may be the only dry day we see through the middle of next week. the next trough will move out of the Gulf of Alaska and into California by late Monday, so periods of rain can be expected Monday afternoon into Wednesday. Models show high pressure finally beginning to build in by Wednesday, putting at least a temporary cap on the matter.


Forecast: A chance of light showers through this evening. Rain by late this evening through Saturday morning, locally heavy at times. Strong gusty southeast winds developing this evening through Friday. Partly to mostly cloudy Saturday afternoon through Saturday night with a chance of showers, mainly in Kern County. Partly cloudy Sunday. Showers becoming likely Monday afternoon and at times through Wednesday. Partly cloudy Wednesday night and Thursday.


Temperatures: Highs today will warm into the lower 50s. lows tonight will chill into the mid to topper 30s. highs Friday will  warm into the low to mid 50s. Lows Friday night will cool into the mid to upper 30s. Highs Saturday will warm into the upper 40s to the lower 50s.


Seven Day Forecast


Partly cloudy



Pm showers



Showers likely



Showers likely



Partly cloudy



Two Week Outlook:  February 28 through March 6: Of the entire lower 48, there is one area to have the highest possibility of above average rainfall and that area is central California. There is also one area with the greatest risk of below average temperatures. You guess it. It’s central California.


January:  This model continues the trend of the season with a favorable pattern for rain for California. The best chance of rain in January will be over the northern half of the state. Temperatures will run marginally below average.


January, February, March:  This model nudges the storm track further north with near average rainfall for northern California but somewhat below average for central and southern California. Temperatures will run marginally above average.


Wind Discussion: Winds will generally be out of the southeast at5 to 15 mph today. Winsd tonight will begin to pick up out of the southeast at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph possible. Winsd Friday will be mainly out of the southeast at 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph are possible in isolated areas near the base of the Tehachapi Mountains from tonight through Friday. Winds will rapidly decrease Friday night to no more than 15 mph with stronger gusts. Winds Saturday through Sunday will be variable to 15 mph with stronger gusts near showers.


Rain Discussion: High resolution and blended model information are pointing to an amazing precipitation event for central California. First of all, between later this evening and Saturday, the southern Sierra Nevada should pick up between 4 and 5 feet of new snow with 3 to4 feet of new snow in the Tehachapi Mountains. Models also show impressive numbers for the valley floor, especially the south valley. Blended models indicate Bakersfield will pick up nearly 1.50 with one inch plus totals throughout the valley. That’s from late this evening through Saturday morning. Rain will taper off into showers by Saturday afternoon with a brief break in the action from late Saturday night through Sunday night. The next trough will come rolling out of the Gulf of Alaska, arriving in California Monday with periods of rain from Monday afternoon through Wednesday. Dry weather will finally return Thursday, lasting a few days.


Frost Discussion.  Even with all the cloud cover overnight, coldest locations dipped down to 31. Above freezing conditions with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s can be expected tonight and tomorrow night. Widespread low to mid30s are possible Sunday and Monday mornings with readings falling into the mid 20s at coldest locations if skies show clearing. Above freezing conditions can be expected Tuesday and Wednesday mornings due to cloud cover and precipitation with possibly again some sub freezing conditions coming up Thursday and Friday.


Lows Tonight:

Terra Bella














Tea Pot Dome














North Bakersfield




Orange Cove




Lindcove Hillside


Sanger River Bottom


Root creek


Venice Hill


















Holland Creek


Tivy Valley


Kite Road South


Kite Road North


AF=Above Freezing


Actual humidity values for Porterville 99%/38%, Delano  90%32%.  Mid afternoon dew points: Low to mid 30s..  Kern: Low to mid 30s..

ET for the past seven days: Stratford, .69, Parlier, .68, Arvin 78, Porterville .67, Delano .70  Soil temperatures: Stratford 50, Parlier 49, Arvin 51, Porterville 47, Delano 50 *=data missing.

Average Temperatures: 63/42  Record Temperatures: 79/30

Heating Degree Days This Season.  1919 +4 Varies widely from location to location. courtesy of the NWS

Precipitation:  Seasonal total for Fresno  10.01, Monthly  .81

Precipitation for Bakersfield:  Season: 4.50, Monthly:  .18

Average Temperature This Month  48.4 -1.8 Taken NWS Hanford.

Water year season is from October 1st through September 30.

Chilling Hours November 1st Through February 28:  Parlier 1218,  Arvin 1037, Belridge 1129, Shafter 1160, Stratford 1197,  Delano 1198,  Porterville  1170  courtesy UC Davis

Sunrise 5:36, sunset, 5:48.  hours of daylight, 11:10


Yesterday’s Weather:                                         H        L         R

MCE   : Merced AP        153 :  54 /  35 /  0.00 /

MAE   : Madera AP        253 :  51 /  38 /  0.17/

FAT   : Fresno AP        333 :  52 /  37 /  0.18 /

HJO   : Hanford AP       242 :  53 /  34 /  0.01 /

NLC   : Lemoore NAS      234 :  52 /  30 /  0.01 /

BFL   : Bakersfield AP   496 :  51 /  37 /  0.07 /

VIS   : Visalia AP       292 :  51 /  34 /  0.01 /

PTV   : Porterville AP   442 :  51 /  34 /  0.01 /

IYK   : Inyokern AP     2455 :  44 /  31 /  0.00 /


Central CA. Rainfall:                                                                             

STOCKTON                      0.00   15.75   172    8.21    90     9.17    13.45

MODESTO                       0.00   13.56   166    8.16   100     8.18    12.27

MERCED                        0.00   13.47   176    5.87    77     7.67    11.80

MADERA                        0.00    5.14    75    1.56    23     6.82    10.79

FRESNO                           T    9.83   142    5.25    76     6.90    10.99

HANFORD                          T    6.99   137    4.78    93     5.12     8.13

BAKERSFIELD                   0.02    4.52   113    3.67    92     4.00     6.36

BISHOP                        0.00    8.73   276    4.50   142     3.16     4.84

DEATH VALLEY NP               0.00    0.39    31       M     M     1.26     2.20

SALINAS                       0.00    9.27   109    6.18    73     8.52    12.58

PASO ROBLES                      T   13.07   162    7.37    91     8.08    12.15

SANTA MARIA                      T   13.61   157    6.33    73     8.69    13.32



Next report: February 23 afternoon


At John Hibler Weather Forecasting, it is our goal to provide the most accurate forecasts available. Weather forecasting, unlike any other business, invites errors. Weather, by nature, is chaotic. It is our goal to be as accurate as humanly possible.