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All Eyes on Hurricane Hilary’s Potential Impact on Fresno Weather

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This Hurricane Hilary rainfall forecast ending Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, is from the National Hurricane/Central Pacific Hurricane Center. (NOAA)
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Tropical Storm Hilary strengthened into a hurricane on Thursday morning and could become a major hurricane tonight or early Friday, the National Weather Service in Hanford said.

The current forecast calls for Hilary to weaken while moving north around the Baja Peninsula. But Hilary’s tropical moisture could bring excessive rain to Kern County’s mountains and desert, and the Sequoia National Forest on Sunday, the NWS said Thursday morning.

There’s also a 15% to 40% chance that heavy rainfall could extend to Fresno County and west across the San Joaquin Valley.

“Forecast rain amounts in the SJ Valley are from one-half to one inch with the higher amounts expected in the south Valley,” NWS said in its Thursday morning forecast discussion. “These rain amounts would bring the potential for flooding as well as rockslides and mudslides.”

This satellite image taken at 7:50 a.m. PT on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Hilary off the Pacific coast of Mexico. (NOAA via AP)

Meanwhile, Colin McCarthy, who tracks extreme weather throughout the world, tweeted that he’d “be storm chasing in Southern California Sunday/Monday, covering California’s first potential tropical cyclone landfall since 1939.”

Watch: Potential Hurricane Hilary Impacts on California  

Upcoming Forecast

It will continue to be sunny and hot Thursday with the high temperature topping out at about 104 degrees. However, Friday should bring an end to triple-digit temps with the high near 98. Similar conditions are expected Saturday.

The NWS says there’s a 20% chance of rain in the Fresno area before 11 a.m. on Sunday and a 40% chance after 11 p.m. The high temperature will dip to the low 90s.

Expect a 40% chance of rain on Monday and a 20% chance on Tuesday morning. The forecast calls for high temperatures in the 80s both days.

Flash flooding risk from Hurricane Hilary (NOAA)

 

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