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The next storm system will impact Central California from late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. This storm system will be moisture starved. Rain amounts will vary from less than a tenth of an inch in the western portion of the San Joaquin Valley to around one third of an inch in the extreme eastern part of the San Joaquin Valley. Snow amounts will vary from one to two inches in the Southern Sierra Nevada foothills to two to four inches in the Kern County mountains to three to five inches in the Southern Sierra Nevada. Snow levels could drop to about 1,000 feet by Thursday morning.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Kern County Mountains above 2,000 feet starting Wednesday at 4 PM through Thursday at 4 PM. Areas including I-5 along the Grapevine and Lebec could experience very difficult travel conditions Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches above 2,000 feet. Local amounts up to 4 inches possible.

 

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Effective Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 1000 AM Pacific Standard Time (PST), 1800 Coordinated Univeral Time (UTC), the NWS office in Hanford, California (WFO HNX) will change all public and fire weather forecast zone names and boundaries. Upon implementation of this change, all weather forecasts and related products will use the new zone numbers and names shown below.

The zone changes will improve services by allowing more fine-tuned warnings and advisories for hazards such as fog, dust, winter weather, and fire danger.

 

Why is NWS Hanford Proposing to Change the Forecast Zones?

 

Most long-duration watch, warning, and advisory products issued by the NWS (such as Dense Fog Advisories, Winter Storm Warnings, and Red Flag Warnings) are issued in areas called "zones." The current configuration of local weather zones was drawn broadly covering different geopolitical and climatological boundaries. These zones have been in places for several years, though over the years NWS Meteorologists and several partnering agencies have found that the current configuration does not adequately reflect the weather impacts across these areas. 

To provide a better service to the community and NWS partners the local office has been working towards changing our zone configuration from 11 public forecast zones and 11 fire weather zones to 19 public forecast zones and 12 fire weather zones. These proposed zone changes are based on both climatological data, such as average annual precipitation, known weather, water and climate impacts, and forecaster and partner experiences. These changes were extensively discussed and collaborated with land management agencies and emergency managers.

The new proposed zones will allow us to better emphasize local impact areas and provide more accurately watches, warnings, and advisories in these known regions.  

 

Proposed Public Forecast Zones for March 2019

 

Current Public Forecast Zones (Pre-March 2019)

 

 

 

Proposed Fire Weather Forecast Zones for March 2019

 

 

Current Fire Weather Zones (Pre-March 2019)