Weather takes a turn for the frigid: low elevation snow likely in Three Rivers

Hazy sunshine with daytime temps in the 70s gave way to Alpen glows for most of January. Kaweah Country is suddenly taking a turn for the frigid as winter arrives here this weekend with freezing temperatures and a dusting of snow for Three Rivers.

Snow in the forecast for Three Rivers

After little more than two inches of rain had fallen since the end of the local fire season on November 8, 2020, it appears that the ridge of high pressure parked off the California coast is finally bending southward. For Kaweah Country that means the window is open and instead of the usual near miss, this time there will be some moisture and maybe a dusting of snow in Three Rivers.

Few will be surprised by the fact that the 2020-2021 water year to-date has been rather paltry precipitation-wise throughout California. Nearly the entire state is running more than 50 percent behind typical values year-to-date; and much of the state has seen less than 30 percent of average. 

Snowpack has now fallen below 50 percent of average on a statewide basis. Recently, unusually warm temperatures have been in store for much of California, and summer-like afternoon temperatures have been widespread especially in Southern California. Wildfire activity has picked up again in the southern third of the state. What that means are dry, hot dry Santa Ana winds in conjunction with unusually dry-mid winter vegetation conditions. 

The overall pattern in the American West this past week brought strong winds to parts of Central California and knocked down multiple trees in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park remains closed until at least Monday, January 25, while park officials assess damage. 

Rainfall in Kaweah Country and Three Rivers is expected to begin on Friday night (January 22) and continue on and off again throughout the next week. Low temperatures will remain in the mid-30s throughout the rest of January. There will be little doubt this week: Winter is here!  


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