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Fog and Frost Ahead as Waterlogged Valley Starts to Dry Out



Floodwaters cover a property along River Road in Monterey County, as the Salinas River overflows its banks on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. (AP/Noah Berger)
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After three weeks of flooding, uprooted trees, and rockslides, clear skies are finally ahead for the Central Valley.

Along with patchy fog, cooler temperatures, and frost.

But Mother Nature hasn’t yet completed her participation-laden mission. The National Weather Service forecast calls for continued showers and possibly thunderstorms in the Fresno area Monday afternoon and evening. Winds up to 30 mph are also expected.

Tuesday could be marked by calming winds and early morning and late evening fog — but no rain.

Looking ahead to Wednesday, there’s a 50% chance of evening showers totaling about a tenth of an inch and late-night fog.

Winter Frost Returns on Friday

Expect morning frost beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend.

After that?

Let’s go to social media weatherman Colin McCarthy, who has 79,000 followers on his Twitter account despite being just a freshman at UC Davis.

“California will finally get a break from the storm parade that has slammed the state for 20+ days beginning this Friday and lasting for 7-10 days, ” McCarthy tweeted Monday morning. “But, there is good consensus among models for a return to wetter/cooler than normal conditions during the last few days of January.”

(GV Wire/Paul Marshall. Source: NOAA)

Biden Declares a Major Disaster in California

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state on Saturday and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

Biden’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Merced, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz counties.

According to a White House news release, assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Newsom Visits Merced County

“California is grateful for President Biden’s swift approval of this critical support to communities reeling from these ongoing storms,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom, who met with evacuated residents in Merced County and surveyed damage there on Saturday. “We’ll continue to work in lockstep with local, state, and federal partners to help keep Californians safe and make sure our communities have the resources and assistance they need to rebuild and recover.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, Newsom signed an executive order to further bolster the state’s emergency storm response and help communities that suffered damage.

At Least 20 Dead, $31 Billion in Damage

At least 20 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother’s car last week by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

And, while early estimates pegged the damage from the storms at $1 billion, Accuweather says the costs will be at least $31 billion.

“A substantial portion of the damage to homes and businesses occurred as a result of mudslides and landslides as well as water damage caused by the serious flooding,” Accuweather said.

Heavy Snow Over Weekend

The University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Monday morning that it had recorded 49.6 inches of new snow since Friday.

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Tahoe area.

Statewide, the snow water equivalent was 247% of normal through Monday. That is 120% of the April 1 average.

As the NWS explains, “Snow water equivalent is the depth of water that would cover the ground if the snow cover was in a liquid state.”

Reservoirs Continue to Fill Up

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email