It’s no secret Central California has seen a good amount of rain and snow. Now that spring is just around the corner, many are wondering if this trend will continue.
It’s true that forecast accuracy drops the further into the future you look.
But meteorologists and climatologists do have a good record when it comes to predicting general trends.
Fresno County Farm Bureu CEO Ryan Jacobsen says, “We are off to a phenomenal start. So even if it was to turn dry at this point, fortunately we have a very good snowpack in the mountains right now.”
Sierra snowpack is quite healthy right now, running some 175% average for this time of year.
Jacobsen says, “Snowpack is the lifeblood of the local Valley here not just for agriculture but also for the cities that we have. It’s the gradual melting of that snowpack over the course of the spring and summer that allows us to do what we do here in the Valley.”
NOAA’a climate prediction center evaluates large-scale weather patterns and historic trends, predicting rain and snow look to stay near average this spring in California.
Jacobsen says, “What’s been interesting this year is the numbers really aren’t that spectacular here on the Valley floor when it comes to rainfall. It doesn’t add up to the numbers as far as snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. Some of those numbers, especially when you get to the east sierra are absolutely incredible.”
However, there’s a probability temperatures will be above average.
That could mean trouble if warm weather melts Sierra snowpack too fast.
Jacobsen says, “We pay attention to those numbers very critically because just a slight few degrees difference up in the Sierra Nevada can melt that snowpack a little faster, and thus make flooding a potential problem here on the Valley floor.”
Of course, with long-term forecasting there’s a lot of time for things to change. And they can change quickly.