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November 18, 2023 afternoon report

Numerous light showers are occurring over the valley as of midday. Satellite imagery depicts mostly clear skies off the central coast along the back side of the trough. However, models are again showing the system moving to a crawl so even though clearing is taking place off shore, it may be sometime late tonight before all precipitation ends with the possible exception of Kern County where upsloping is occurring against the north facing slopes of the Kern County mountains. As the trough moves into the interior west late tonight and Sunday, pressure will fall over the interior west and will rise off shore. High resolution models this afternoon indicate gusty northwesterly winds are blowing down the valley. These same models show winds peaking at 32 mph at Lemoore with similar conditions down the west side of the valley and locally elsewhere. As the high begins to take over Sunday afternoon through Tuesday night, a warm air inversion will develop. this will set the stage for at least some patchy fog. The air mass moving down the valley Monday and Monday night is colder, so local frost will be possible Monday through Wednesday mornings. For the second model run in a row, a weak trough of low pressure shows up moving through the valley late Wednesday night and Thursday morning for a chance of sprinkles or light showers as far south as Merced County. Behind this system, upper level high pressure will take over again for a continuation of dry weather.

Forecast: Periods of mainly light showers will continue through the evening hours, generally in the south valley. There is also a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms during the late afternoon hours. Partly to mostly cloudy later tonight and Sunday morning. there will be a lingering chance of light showers for a time Sunday morning, mainly in Kern County. Mostly clear Sunday afternoon through Wednesday. Variable clouds Wednesday night and Thursday with a slight chance of sprinkles or isolated showers in Merced County. Dry elsewhere. Mostly clear Thursday night through Saturday with patchy night and morning fog.

Short Term:                                                                                           

Madera 34/61/34/64Reedley 46/63/35/64Dinuba 44/61/35/63
Porterville 48/61/35/63Llindsay 46/62//33/65Delano 49/63/37/64
Bakersfield 53/61/40/64Taft 52/61/41/62Arvin 50/611/37/64
Lamont 49/62//37/65Pixley 45/61/35/63Tulare 44/62/34/65

Winds: Winds through the evening will be mainly out of the northwest at 8 to 15 mph with locally stronger gusts. After midnight, winds will be out of the northwest at 10 to 20 mph with stronger gusts, increasing Sunday to 15 to 25 mph. gusts to 35 are possible, mainly along the west side. Winds will diminish later Sunday evening, becoming light to near calm after midnight. Winds Monday through Tuesday with generally be at or less than 5 mph with near calm conditions.

Rain: Numerous showers are occurring as of the time of this writing over much of the valley. Amounts, however, have been pretty light. Most locations so far have received less than .20. The chance for mainly light showers will continue through the evening hours, possibly into Sunday morning, mainly in Kern County. Dry weather will return Sunday and continue through at least Wednesday evening. Models show the trailing portion of a trough moving through late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. sprinkles or light showers may reach into Merced County, however the remainder of the growing area will remain dry. In fact, models show dry weather  into next weekend and the following week. longer range models depict below average precipitation through the end of the month.

Frost:  A colder air mass will begin infiltrating the valley Sunday into Sunday evening. Most locations Monday through Wednesday mornings will chill into the mid to upper 30s. high resolution models indicate the typically cold areas on the valley floor may drop to 30 to 32 degrees for short durations. I consider this a very seasonal air mass, one which will finally start racking up some chilling hours with no danger to citrus. A weak trough will swing through Thursday. However, the winds aloft behind this system will be more westerly. It probably won’t have enough energy to exchange air masses, so mid 30s to low 40s are likely to be the norm Friday through Sunday. Still nothing on longer range models to suggest a pattern of particularly cold air through the end of the month.

Next report: November 19/morning