While Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley communities dry out from heavy rains, this spring is continuing its unusual weather patterns.
Strong winds and cold temperatures are in store Monday, with a National Weather Service wind advisory in effect until 11 p.m.
Wind gusts up to 45 mph are expected on the Valley floor, and they could reach more than 60 mph in the Kern County mountains and desert. NWS says 60 mph gusts threaten high-profile vehicles and could topple trees and power lines.
In addition, a trough will bring light showers to the foothills and snow above 3,000 feet. After snow fell on the Grapevine on Monday morning, the California Highway Patrol began escorting vehicles.
At this time the CHP Fort Tejon Area is conducting escorts through the Grapevine due to snow fall. Traffic will be heavy through the area so be patient. Remember to slow down, follow behind traffic at a safe distance, and always wear your seatbelt. pic.twitter.com/Pv6q1kq5wB
— CHP Fort Tejon (@CHPFortTejon) April 3, 2023
Temperatures on Tuesday also will be below normal with highs near 60 degrees. However, a warming trend will begin Wednesday, and Easter Sunday is expected to have a high of 80 degrees.
If the forecast holds up, the warming rays will be short-lived. By Wednesday, April 11, according to The Weather Channel, Fresno highs will return to the 60s and 70s for at least a few days.
San Luis Reservoir Fills for 1st Time in Six Years
San Luis Reservoir is full for the first time since 2017, The Mercury News reports.
The reservoir is the fifth-largest in California at 2 million acre-feet and provides water for millions of people and thousands of acres of Central Valley farmland. It is off Highway 152 near Los Banos.
A year ago, amid California’s withering drought, it was just 10% full.
“Who would have thought this last summer?” Howard Berman, who retired in December after 40 years as an interpreter at the lake’s visitor center, told The Mercury News. “I thought we were in trouble. There were signs all over that said ‘Pray for rain.’ Well, you can take those down now.”
Newsom’s Executive Order Deals With Tulare Lake Flooding
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed an executive order to support the ongoing emergency response to flooding and help prepare communities in the Tulare Lake Basin for the impacts of snowmelt runoff from the Sierra Nevada.
“With historic rain and snowpack creating immense challenges for this region, our first priority is protecting lives and livelihoods impacted by this devastating flooding,” Newsom said. “State officials are on the ground to assist communities, support the local emergency response underway and prepare for the surge of snowmelt runoff in the months ahead.”
Among other provisions, the order:
- Streamlines regulations in order to expedite preparation and recovery efforts. The order suspends certain statutes and regulations to expedite emergency flood preparation and response activities such as floodwater diversion, debris removal, and levee repairs in the Tulare Lake Basin.
- Boosts staffing for emergency response efforts. To ensure adequate staffing for response efforts, the order waives work hour limitations for retired annuitants working with state agencies and departments on the emergency response.