When a first wave of winter-like storms rolled through the central San Joaquin Valley earlier this month, the National Weather Service described it as “significant” and “atypical.”
But have the ensuing storms been recording-breaking?
Yes and no.
Last Thursday, the Fresno area received 0.46 inches of rain, shattering the daily record of 0.13 inches set in 2005.
For the month, the area had received 1.79 inches of rain through midday Wednesday. It’s the third wettest May on record, according to the National Weather Service, which has tracking data going back to 1881.
The record – 2.88 inches – was set in 1906.
There was a total of 1.97 inches of rain in May 1900.
In all, there have only been 20 years in which Fresno saw an inch or more of rain in May.
“That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it,” said Jim Andersen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
“The majority of the the other years just had a trace (of rain),” he said. “They had zero or a trace.’
It seems unlikely that Fresno will get enough rain in the next nine days to make 2019 the wettest May on record. But it may slide into that No. 2 spot, Andersen said.
Especially seeing as the weather service’s latest update is predicting another storm coming in Saturday. If the forecast pans out, that one could produce up to a half inch of rain through Memorial Day weekend.