Strong thunderstorms that could be accompanied by heavy rain, frequent lightning, and half-inch hail are forecast to hit the central Sierra at elevations above 4,000 feet on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
You may notice some cloud cover spreading westward above Fresno, Clovis, and Visalia. But those higher-elevation clouds that forecasters call “debris or blowoff” from the thunderstorms’ core won’t bring any rain here, National Weather Service meteorologist Carlos Molina told GV Wire. Rain clouds need to be at about 5,000 feet, but the debris clouds are more like 20,000 to 25,000 feet high, he said.
“Because we’ve got minimal change in the wind flows (from north to south), it looks like today should be a repeat of the last few days,” he said Wednesday. “All of those clouds that just kind of come over, and they look ominous, but for the most part, everything that’s the thunderstorm core itself is pretty much over the mountains.”
After Wednesday, expect drier weather and hotter temperatures that could peak on Saturday at 96 or 97 degrees, Molina said.
But with the arrival of a new weather system to the north, temperatures in Fresno should drop back to the upper 80s or lower 90s, with a return of stronger breezes, he said.
And if you’re thinking that this June seems cooler than usual, you’re right. In a typical year there already would have been a couple of days of triple-digit temperatures by now, Molina said. The record for a late-arriving triple-digit day in Fresno was set in 1998, when the thermometer climbed to 101 on July 16.
He said he expects hotter 100-degree weather will arrive in Fresno soon enough.
“July will come around and or even late June and we’ll start seeing our heat waves across central California,” Molina said.