Following a month of exceptionally dry weather, meteorologists said a potential El Niño “Miracle March” could be in full gear.
During a three-day period from last Saturday into Monday morning, the National Weather Service in Hanford reported 5.44 inches of rain at the Bass Lake, 3.05 at the sheriff’s station in Oakhurst, 4.26 inches in North Fork, 4.21 in Coarsegold, and 2.79 in Yosemite Lakes Park.
Snowfall also accumulated in much of the Mountain Area at elevations above 3,000 feet.
Phil Messerschmitt, with the official government weather station at the Bass Lake Ranger District, said the latest storms made a positive addition to rainfall totals in the area after a fairly dry February.
Through records kept since 1903, Messerschmitt said the station receives an average of 32 inches from July 1 to June 30 each year. After the weekend’s storms, Messerschmitt said the station has seen 28.07 inches thus far, and is already a mere 1.5 inches away from meeting its monthly average for all of March.
“With any luck, we’re going to reach the historic averages,” Messerschmitt said. “There’s a really good chance we’ll get close to, or surpass, normal precipitation for the year.”
Conditions were expected to dry out over the week NWS meteorologists reported, but only briefly. As of Tuesday afternoon, additional rains were forecast, arriving in the Mountain Area by today (Thursday) through Monday afternoon.
Temperatures were forecast to range from a high of 63 degrees Friday to below 36 Sunday night.
Meteorologists said the latest storms could reinforce a “Miracle March” of increased precipitation.
“This is good news for the drought as above normal precipitation for 2015-16 will certainly help,” the forecast read.
Meteorologists said 0.87 inches of rain is expected in Oakhurst over a single-day period from Thursday to Friday. Forecasts further into the future weren’t available.