Recent storms push Valley rainfall totals close to 100-percent of normal

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Despite what Punxsutawney Phil thinks, Central California has experienced some severe winter weather in the last few days.

Recent storms dropped the snow level in our local mountains down to 2,000 feet. And heavy rain and thunderstorms pushed rainfall totals for the season close to 100% of normal in some parts of the Central Valley.

"It has been unbelievable. If anybody had told me this was going to occur Wednesday or Thursday last week I would have said you are exaggerating," said meteorologist Steve Johnson.

Johnson is with Atmospherics Group International. He said Fresno picked up 1.30 inches of rain since Friday.

Most of that was from Monday's storm.

"It didn't look like anything last week and then on Sunday all of a sudden it blossomed. It was much bigger than it ever looked on computer models," Johnson said.

For the entire rainfall season since July 1, Fresno has been just under six inches at an average of 96%.

It just need another quarter inch of rain to hit 100%.

Johnson thinks Fresno is on the right track to continue this wet weather pattern through spring.

He said sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean will keep the storm track aimed at California.

"So what is racing across from Japan is the jet stream as it goes across the Pacific Ocean into the west coast. I don't think that is going to change much between now and April or May," he said.

Recent storms have also helped produce two tornadoes in Central California, one east of Clovis and one near Mariposa.

Johnson thinks another twister or two will still be possible in the near future.

"The San Joaquin Valley, believe it or not, has the best wind shear component of any place in the United States - which comes as a surprise to many Californians," he said.
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