National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Storms Across Portions of the Central U.S.; Wet and Windy in the Northwest

A few severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail are expected this today across Kentucky, northeast Minnesota, and from southeast Colorado into the Oklahoma Panhandle. These storms may produce heavy rain and flooding in Kentucky. A strong cold front will sweep through the Northwest U.S. with rain, mountain snow and high winds. Heat and record high temperatures persist in the South. Read More >

Strong west wind gusts are possible in the Kern County desert Thursday afternoon into early Friday morning. Blowing dust could reduce visibilities in some locations. Travel may be difficult, particularly for high profile vehicles. Highways affected include, but are not limited to Highway 14, U.S. Highway 395, Highway 178 through and below Walker Pass, including the town of Inyokern, and Highway 58 through and below Tehachapi Pass, including the town of Mojave. Here are projected wind gusts valid at 7 PM PDT Thursday, May 19th, 2022.
High temperatures throughout Central California this afternoon and Thursday afternoon will be around ten degrees above normal for this time of year. Maximum temperatures across Central California Friday afternoon will be about ten degrees lower than Thursday afternoon.
High temperatures throughout Central California Saturday afternoon will be around five degrees warmer than Friday afternoon. By Monday afternoon, maximum temperatures across Central California will be about ten degrees above normal for this time of year.
The ninth wettest day ever observed in Fresno during the month of May occurred sixty-five years ago today.


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Our Service Area

The NWS San Joaquin Valley County Warning and Forecast Area (CFWA) includes a large portion of the central California interior. Our CWFA lies between the crests of the Diablo Range and the Sierra Nevada from Merced and Mariposa Counties south through the Tehachapi Mountains, just beyond Bakersfield. It also includes all of Yosemite National Park and the Kern County portion of the Mojave desert. Elevations vary from only 90 feet above sea level near the Merced County line, to 14,495 feet at the peak of Mt. Whitney (the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States). Our service area includes valley, mountain, and desert climates, divisible into 21 forecast zones...

Several recreational areas lie within the service area...
National parks
1. Yosemite
2. Kings Canyon
3. Sequoia
National Forests
4. Stanislaus
5. Sierra
6. Sequoia
Parks in HNX CWA
State parks
7. Red Rock Canyon
8. Great Valley Grasslands
9. Tomo-Kahni
State reserves - 10. Tule Elk
State recreational areas
11. McConnell
12. Millerton Lake
13. San Luis Reservoir
State historical parks
14. Wassama Round House
15. Colonel Allensworth
16. Fort Tejon
17. George J. Hatfield

Demographics of the public service/forecast area are as follows, using 1994 census data...
County Population Area (mi2)
Fresno 737,289 6017.9
Kern 617,528 8162.0
Kings 113,089 1391.6
Madera 107,004 2153.4
Mariposa 15,772 1462.9
Merced 194,407 1372.0
Tulare 346,843 4839.4
Yosemite Nat'l Park n/a 1200.0
Total 2,035,226 26,599.2

Most of the economy of the service area is related to agriculture. However, many jobs are related to oil production, forestry, and aerospace. Lemoore Naval Air Station, China Lake Naval Weapons Center, and Edwards Air Force Base are also major employers in the service area.