Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS San Joaquin Valley, CA

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FXUS66 KHNX 212202

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service San Joaquin Valley - Hanford CA
302 PM PDT Wed Mar 21 2018

.SYNOPSIS...Wet weather will continue over the central
California through much of Thursday. Friday through
Sunday will be cooler. Precipitation could return to
areas mainly north of Fresno county this weekend.


.DISCUSSION...A broad southwesterly flow aloft ahead of a
storm system centered over the Eastern Pacific continues
to feed rich tropical moisture into the central California
interior this afternoon. As of this writing, rain totals
have generally been under a quarter of an inch in the Kern
county desert, between a quarter of an inch and three quarters
of an inch in the San Joaquin Valley and between three quarters
of an inch to around 2 inches in the mountains. Other than
some ponding of water on roads, there have been no reports of
any major flooding. Precipitation has been falling as snow above
9,000 feet since last night and no doubt has been piling up over
the highest elevations of the Sierra.

The steadiest and most persistent rain today has been occuring
over Kern county and over the foothills and higher elevations of
the Sierra mainly south of Madera county. Much of the remainder
of our CWA will share in the wet weather tonight as an upper
level disturbance embedded in the southwesterly flow aloft
moves over central California. A cold front approaching from
the northwest will also help bring rain northward this evening.
The models forecast this atmospheric river to set up across the
central part of our CWA tonight where it may remain for several
hours. Heavy rain totals are possible wherever this water hose
sets up tonight, and this will raise the potential for more
serious flooding, especially over the higher elevations of
western Kern county and much of Fresno county, Kings county and
Tulare county. The major impacts will range from urban and
highway flooding in the valley to mud slides and debris flows
over the higher terrain, particularly near wildfire burn scars.

This water hose will be shunted south and eastward by a cold
front Thursday afternoon and evening. During this time, precip
will diminish to scattered showers and snow levels will gradually
lower, ending up between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet by Thursday
night. Up until midday Thursday, our weather will remain
exceptionally mild.  Temperatures  may not fall much lower than
60 degrees in many San Joaquin Valley locations tonight and
could easily rise above 70 degrees Thursday before the cold
front arrives. Additionally, southeast winds will be gusty in the
valley tonight, particularly north of Fresno county and at the
south end.

A somewhat drier westerly flow aloft will reside over central
California Friday through Friday night. During the weekend,
a colder storm system originating off the British Columbia coast
will trek southeastward. Initially, this system will probably
brush the northernmost part of the CWA with light precip Saturday.
The models now deepen the upper level trough associated with this
storm, so this may bring a return of wet weather as far south as
the Kern county line by Sunday afternoon; farther south if the
trough tracks farther west or deepens more. Stay tuned. So far,
wet weather has made this a marvelous March.


Mountain obscuration due to clouds/precipitation in the Sierra
Nevada and Tehachapi Range. Otherwise, MVFR/IFR conditions in low
ceilings and precipitation will prevail for 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.


.HNX Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
Winter Storm Warning until 11 PM PDT Thursday ABOVE 8000 FEET
FOR THE CAZ096-097.

Flash Flood Watch through Thursday evening CAZ093>097.



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