Tropical Storm Impacts ‘Not as Significant’ As Initially Projected for Fresno Ag

Brian GermanIndustry, Weather

A tropical storm that made landfall in California for the first time in more than 80 years brought significant wind and rain to the state. Southern California was hit the hardest with historic rains which caused flooding in several areas. Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said the area did not experience as much turbulent weather as was originally forecasted.

tropical storm

“It’s looking like the impacts are not as significant as initially projected. We did see rainfall here in the San Joaquin Valley, but not to the upper ends of what the potential projections were out there,” Jacobsen noted. “Here in the Fresno region, we’re anywhere between a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch depending on where you’re at. There are some foothill communities that received more than that, maybe towards a half-inch or above. But overall, those projections were expected to be anywhere from a half-inch to an inch.”

The tropical storm adds to an already atypical weather year for California. Late spring rains delayed plantings in multiple areas. Jacobsen explained that those early season delays may have ultimately helped some farmers through the recent storm.

“We are fortunate. Because of being behind, we didn’t see as much of our perishable commodities on the ground, such as raisins and almonds, as in a normal year,” Jacobsen explained. “They were probably able to sustain the rains better simply because they were on the vine or tree versus being on the ground comparative to a normal year.”

While rainfall was not as severe in Fresno County as it was in other regions of the state, there are still some concerns. Wind damage in stone fruits may have caused some bruising damage that could become more apparent in the weeks ahead. Additionally, the increased moisture that will be coupled with warming temperatures this week could create disease issues for growers.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West