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Yet more rain in Fresno over the weekend, with around 20 mm of...

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    Yet more rain in Fresno over the weekend, with around 20 mm of precipitation recorded in the central Californian city across Saturday and Sunday.

    All up, that adds up to almost two inches (50mm) of rain for Fresno this month. As mentioned previously, in a typical May, you'd normally expect just a few millimetres of rainfall in Fresno, so the May weather this year in Fresno has certainly been out of the ordinary.

    While the heavy rainfall we have seen in Fresno so far this month might be an oddity, it pales into comparison to precipitation patterns further to the north.

    The graphic below has been taken from a report in the Sacramento Bee over the weekend. As you can see below, this month is now the wettest May on record for Sacramento.


    Unsurprisingly, there are some reports of localised flooding in areas surrounding the city.

    A little further to the south of Sacramento, Stockton- the largest urban centre in the almond-growing county of San Joaquin- saw a number of streets in the town end up looking more akin to rivers than roads as a result of the weekend deluge.

    One report in the Sacramento Bee featured a clip of a Stockton local in a Kayak paddling down a flooded street, as well as clip of a car driving down an inundated street in the town.


    This late-spring flooding wasn't the only abnormal weather to hit Stockton. The town was also pummelled by hail, as can be seen in the shot below.

    So far, there isn't much information on the impact of this extreme weather on Californian farmers.

    One exception, appearing just a few hours ago, is the report below from a US news site:

    KINGSBURG, Calif. (KFSN) -- As strong wind, rain and hail pummeled the Central Valley, crops were left to Mother Nature's mercy. There are more than 400 different crops grown in Fresno County, with 2017's crop report showing it is a $7 billion industry.

    Though Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen says it's still too early to tell the extent of damage, he also says the storm was devastating for some cherry growers. "There can be orchards wiped out there can be complete cotton fields wiped out," he said. "It just depends on which cloud you were under and some of these were serious events."

    While the storm has no impact on the taste, the cracks, caused by rainfall, mean the cherries in one Kingsburg orchard will likely never make it to the produce aisle.

    Stone fruit and tomato growers are also feeling the stress. "The water that we've gotten, it makes it very difficult to get in the field and do the appropriate cultural practices to preserve the crop," Jacobsen said.

    This time of year, almond trees are top heavy. The combination of precipitation, shallow roots and strong winds created the perfect storm for the younger trees.

    While growers are tallying the immediate impacts, there are long-term storm consequences that have yet to be seen.

    "Particularly when you talk about some of the fungus and mold issues some of those don't show up until much later on," Jacobsen adds, "this is definitely a memorable May when it comes to weather."

    Astoundingly, the weather forecasts for many almond growing regions in California are indicating that there could be even more rain in the days ahead.

    It is increasingly looking as if that 2.5 billion pound almond crop forecast released earlier in the month might be destined for the dustbin.

    Last edited by Inchiquin: 22/05/19
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