Heaven knows the last thing the flooded San Joaquin Valley needs is more rain.
But significant rain is in the forecast starting Monday night, with Fresno and surrounding communities seeing as much as 1.5 inches through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford.
Meanwhile, the Climate Prediction Center says Fresno has a 70% chance of receiving above-normal precipitation beginning Tuesday, March 28 through Saturday, April 1.
Fresno has already received 17.09 inches of rain since Oct. 1, 2022. That’s nearly double the normal through today.
Next week’s storm is expected to bring snowfall to the Sierra Nevada as well.
Until then, the Valley will experience dry weather with the exception of isolated showers and snowfall at higher elevations. Overnight lows will drop into the high 30s beginning Friday.
PG&E Continues to Battle Outages
While the number of power outages in the Fresno area has been reduced to a small number, PG&E crews are having difficulty accessing equipment for repairs in flooded South Valley areas.
The utility is also dealing with about 17,000 outages in Alameda and Santa Cruz counties, according to poweroutage.us. Altogether, 32,145 PG&E customers at 2 p.m. Thursday.
PG&E crews are working 12-to 14-hour days, hanging from poles trying to keep the lights on. And, they’ve been at it for months. During one storm this winter, the utility suffered more than 500,000 outages across its vast territory.
“When everybody else has battened down the hatches, they’re out there working,” said Bob Dean, business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1245, the union that represents thousands of line workers in Northern California and Nevada. “It’s like, ‘My God, we need a break here.’ ”
Snowpack at 223% of April 1 Average
The statewide snowpack stood at 223% of the April 1 average through Thursday morning.
— Bureau of Reclamation – California-Great Basin (@ReclamationCGB) March 22, 2023
It’s even deeper in the Southern Sierra, which drains through the San Joaquin River — 283% of the April 1 average.