History of snow in Fresno and Porterville

FRESNO, Calif.

"Oh yeah it surprised me. It was pretty neat, my kids were in school at that time it was different," Steve Guiterrez from Fresno said. Matt Higley also recalled that day.

"Yes it was like 15 years ago. "Unfortunately I was at work so I didn't get to enjoy any of it but I did get to see it through the windows," Higley said.

The National Weather service shows it's snowed 48 times in Fresno in the past 107 years, since records were kept. Most years received just a trace. The biggest snowfall on record occurred on January 12, of 1930. The Fresno Bee from back then emphasized winter fun in a city that glistened in snow.

But, unexpected snows can catch Valley drivers by surprise.

"I'd never driven in snow or ice in my life and I'm going on highway 41 and a car stopped in front of my and I had a 59 El Camino and I spun that car four times and went into a vineyard," " Higley said.

History of Snow in Porterville

It has been close to 15 years since the South Valley saw some serious snowfall, but many remember it well.

Porterville residents say they saw four to five inches of snow on the ground on the morning of Jan. 25, 1999. They say the snow didn't melt for about two to three days.

John Lopez remembers that day vividly. There was enough snow on the ground for his children to make snowmen. John Lopez snapped plenty of photos of their yard, their neighborhood, and their ice cream parlor that day.

"it was something to show family and friends that didn't live here; what we were going through," Lopez said.

He remembers business being slow that day . He also remembers shoveling snow outside their ice cream shop, All About Ice Cream, which at time was located in downtown. It's now located along W. Henderson Ave. and Lopez admits his ice cream doesn't sell as well when the temperatures drop.

Alvin Smith also took plenty of pictures to remember the major snowfall. He has one that shows his jeep parked outside his home, covered in four inches of snow.

The former school bus driver got the day off that day, because the snow cancelled classes. Smith also remembers the weather causing problems all around town.

"Roads were blocked, power was out, so it was bad for a lot of people," Smith said.

Deloris Mahnke, a board member of the Porterville Historical Museum, says Jan. 25, 1999 is a day worth remembering. A page on her photo album is devoted to that snowfall. She's kept a picture of her orange tree and front lawn covered in snow. She even had a picture of her footprints on the snowy ground.

"It never happens," she said. "That's the first time I've seen that much snow in probably 60 years."

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