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Funnel cloud spotted in Newman during rainstorm. How rare is the weather phenomenon?

in Weather

A woman recorded what appeared to be a funnel cloud in Newman on Monday afternoon, a National Weather Service meteorologist confirmed.

Edulia Guzman spotted the rotating column of air at about 1:40 p.m., and the video she sent to The Bee shows it spinning in the sky as rain falls onto her car windshield.

Funnel clouds like the one in the video are not uncommon during wet weather, said meteorologist Katrina Hand of the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines funnel clouds as rotating columns of air that do not touch the ground, unlike tornadoes.

“It’s actually not that rare for this area, especially when we’ve been in such an active pattern of unsettled weather,” Hand said.

Continue Reading on Merced Sun-Star

High winds blow through Turlock

in News/Weather

Forceful winds blew through the Central Valley on Monday, downing trees and knocking out power during a mayhem-filled day in Turlock. 

A red flag warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Turlock and surrounding areas on Monday, with gusts of up to 47 miles per hour recorded locally. Though the warning continued through Tuesday, winds let up in the afternoon. The damage, however, had already been done. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

County in driest year since 2017

in Weather

Drought statistics updated last week show that dry conditions continue to worsen throughout California, with the percentage of the state experiencing the second-highest level of drought up 20 percent from two weeks ago. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that as of May 4 about 73 percent of the state is suffering from the extreme drought, up from 53 percent the week prior. The monitor focuses on broadscale conditions and drought data is communicated using a five-level system: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. Just over five percent of the state has experienced exceptional drought conditions over the last two weeks. 

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

State warns farmers to prepare for dry summer

in Weather

Despite some recent rainfall, state officials issued bleak warnings to farmers this week which caution them to prepare for water shortages this summer.

The California Department of Water Resources on Tuesday announced that cities and farms belonging to the State Water Project can now expect to receive just 5% of requested supplies this year, down from the projected 10% allocation anticipated in December. Just the day before, the State Water Resources Board told water users to start taking precautions now for water shortages expected later in the year.

“We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The Department of Water Resources is working with our federal and state partners to plan for the impacts of limited water supplies this summer for agriculture as well as urban and rural water users. We encourage everyone to look for ways to use water efficiently in their everyday lives.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 91% of California is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought. While some may have been hoping for a “March miracle” to bring some much-needed rainfall, there wasn’t nearly enough precipitation this month to make a difference.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Rain and Snow: What to expect next with NorCal’s winter storm

in Weather

First came damaging winds that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and crashed trees on streets and homes across Northern California. Rain and snow are set to follow as the storm continues its churn across the region.

Here’s what you can expect for the next phase of the storm.

Now that we are in the Atmospheric River portion of this weather event, rain and snow will be concentrated in some of KCRA 3’s viewing areas, while others will see modest amounts.

All signs point to the heaviest rain and snow being in a line from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Bear Valley on Highway 4 in the Sierra. The coastal mountains will see more than 10 inches of rain.

For KCRA 3 viewers, Modesto and Turlock will be seeing the most rain in the next 36 hours. Sonora might see 3 to 4 inches of additional rain. From Stockton to Marysville, expect on and off rain Wednesday night and Thursday, with additional amounts of up to an inch. It does not look like streams and creeks will be severely impacted.

Continue Reading on KCRA

Labor Day 2020: Red Flag Warning, Excessive Heat Warning, Air Quality Alert

in Weather

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Mother Lode, the Stanislaus National Forest and the Northern San Joaquin Valley from 10 PM this evening through 8 AM Wednesday.

Additionally, a Wind Advisory has been issued for both the Mother Lode and the Sierra Nevada starting at midnight tonight and through 6 PM Tuesday.

Strong high pressure will continue to bring hot and dry conditions across Northern and Central California today. Locally gusty wind will develop this afternoon, becoming widespread tonight and continuing through early Wednesday. Expect winds of 15 to 30 mph in the foothills and the mountains with gusts ranging from 40 to 50 mph. In the Central Valley, winds of 10 to 25 mph are likely with gusts up to 40 mph. The gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

Continue Reading on My Mother Lode

Weather conditions could give break to crews at SCU Lightning Complex

in Weather


Unlike Sunday, More moderate weather conditions this afternoon – more humidity and cooler temperatures – could give those fighting the SCU Lightning Complex, which includes the Canyon Zone Fire in and around Stanislaus County’s Del Puerto Canyon, the break they need.

The fire grew overnight a little, to 347,196 acres, and CalFire was able to assess more of the damage as containment remained at 10%.

The agency announced Monday morning that 12 structures had been destroyed and 12 “minor structures” also were destroyed. More than 20,000 structures remained threatened.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Fire Tornadoes Reported in Northern California Wildfire

in Weather

The National Weather Service said it was planning to investigate reports of a rare occurrence of fire tornadoes arising on Saturday from a 20,000-acre wildfire in Northern California.

Dawn Johnson, a meteorologist with the service in Reno, Nev., said on Sunday that the agency had received reports of fire tornadoes in an area of Lassen County, Calif., about 25 miles northwest of Reno.

“It’s not like a typical tornado where it happens, everything clears out and you safely go and investigate,” Ms. Johnson said. “In this case, there’s a massive wildfire burning in the same location, so the logistics are a lot more complicated.”

Continue Reading on New York Times

Heat Wave: Local Cooling Centers And Spaces

in Weather

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As we prepare for a potentially record-setting heat wave in both the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys, cooling centers are opening to help the most vulnerable.

Forecasters are warning that the Central Valley is in for an extended heatwave that could push Sacramento close to its hottest temperature ever. Temperatures are expected to reach into the mid to high 100s through the weekend. An Excessive Heat Watch is set to go into effect on Friday.

We checked in with several counties, including Stanislaus, where cooling centers in Ceres, Modesto and several other areas are open.

Continue Reading on Sacramento CBS local

Broiling temperatures in L.A. County, Inland Empire expected to last through Monday

in Around California/Weather

Searing temperatures in inland areas of Southern California are expected to last through Monday, extending the suffering for vulnerable and unhoused people across the region who have nowhere to escape the heat.

“It’s been a miserable week,” said Paul Read, co-founder of the homeless services provider Passion, which does outreach in the San Fernando Valley. “People don’t want to go out in the heat. They’re getting dehydrated.”

Temperatures have hit triple digits in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, as well as in parts of Riverside County, where the Apple fire has burned more than 4,100 acres. The broiling weather is expected to continue through Sunday, easing slightly on Monday and cooling later in the week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Phillips.

Continue Reading on KTLA 5

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