Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS San Joaquin Valley, CA

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FXUS66 KHNX 021204

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hanford CA
356 AM PST Tue Mar 2 2021

.SYNOPSIS...Dry weather and well above normal temperatures can
be expected over the district today. A storm system that tracks
eastward across southern California Wednesday will bring a
slight chance of light precipitation to the Kern county mountains
and over the higher elevation of the Sierra. Thursday through
Friday will be dry. A storm system could bring wet weather to
mainly the higher elevations Saturday.


.DISCUSSION...Precipitation has been well below normal over much
of the central California interior so far this Winter. In fact,
the season has been so dry that we`ve had to wipe cobwebs off the
rain gage here at the NWS office in Hanford! Homeowners that
normally keep their lawn sprinklers off have been running them
during the past few weeks as well. From a historical perspective,
last month ended up as one of the top ten driest Februarys in
Merced, Madera, Hanford and Bakersfield with records dating back
as far as the late 19th century. Not to get your hopes up too high
yet, but wet weather is on the horizon, but not enough to make up
for our excessive precipitation deficit.

Temperature-wise, March has certainly come in like a lamb this year.
Yesterday`s balmy afternoon temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley
and lower foothills will be repeated again today even though sunshine
will be dimmed at times by high clouds. In the warmest locations of
the south valley, thermometer readings may even top the 80 degree
mark this afternoon. The high clouds that will be streaming into the
central California interior from the southwest will come from an upper
level low that is currently situated several hundred miles west of
Point Conception. As this low inches eastward, those high clouds will
thicken up over much of the CWA by Wednesday. Unfortunately the low
levels of the atmosphere are very dry so despite a gradual increase
in humidity in this layer during midweek, it`s doubtful that this
system will produce more than some very light precipitation (five
hundredths or less in general) over the mountains of Kern County and
the higher elevations of the Sierra Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday
evening as the low drifts eastward across southern California.

A short wave ridge aloft will move in over central California
Wednesday night and Thursday as this low exits into the Rockies.
Mostly clear skies can be expected during this time over our CWA.
High clouds could be on the increase again Friday as a Pacific
cold front approaches the California coast. Otherwise, high
temperatures Thursday and Friday will again be several degrees
above normal with highs in the 70s in the San Joaquin Valley and
lower foothills. Friday will probably be the warmer day of those
two days as a southwesterly flow aloft ahead of that cold front
transports warmer air into the CWA. Friday night should be
relatively mild across the CWA as this front approaches from the

The models are in good agreement that this cold front will move
inland across central California Saturday with its precipitaton.
Although this does not look like it will be a very wet system,
it should bring measurable rain to much of the San Joaquin Valley
with some accumulating snow over the higher elevations of the
Sierra early this weekend. So, what`s the probability that at
least a hundredth of an inch of rain falls on Saturday in Fresno
and Bakersfield? According to the NBM, that probability is 32
percent in Bakersfield and 47 percent in Fresno.  Yes, it`s not
much, but it`s better than nothing. Additionally, gusty westerly
winds can be expected through and below the Kern county mountain
passes as this system treks through central California Saturday
and exits into the Great Basin by Saturday evening.

A short wave ridge aloft will move into central California in
the wake of this cold front Saturday night. In the meantime,
another upper level trough over the Pacific will be heading toward
the coast. The way it looks now, this trough appears destined to
bring wet weather into much of the central California interior
early next week, especially by next Tuesday. Sunday should be a
dry and relatively warm day ahead of this system before the
weather pattern takes a cooler and unsettled turn Monday.


VFR conditions will prevail across Central California for at
least the next 24 hours.





The level of certainty for days 1 and 2 is high.
The level of certainty for days 3 through 7 is medium.

Certainty levels include low...medium...and high. Please visit for additional information
an/or to provide feedback.




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